Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. J. N. McNeil


Pheromones are important in the mating systems of nocturnal moths as they are relied on to find and/or assess mates. Extrinsic and intrinsic factors have been shown to influence female emission of and male response to pheromones. My thesis focuses on the reproductive biology of males of the western bean cutworm, Striacosta albicosta, a pest of beans and corn that has recently began expanding its range eastwardly. I conducted a field-based experiment to determine the effects of extrinsic factors on pheromone trap catches. I also conducted laboratory based mating experiments to determine the effect of male age on acceptance by females and on female reproductive output. Temperature, but not humidity or wind speed, had a significant but minor effect on trap catches in both summers. The age of a male affected both his acceptance by females and female reproductive output. The two were not directly linked, although 4 day-old males were optimal mates. My results suggest that intrinsic but not extrinsic factors affect the reproductive biology of the WBC.