Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Movement ecology of pest Helicoverpa: implications for ongoing spread.

Abstract

The recent introduction and spread of Helicoverpa armigera throughout South America highlight the invasiveness and adaptability of moths in the Helicoverpa genus. Long-range movement in three key members, H. armigera, H. zea, and H. punctigera, occurs by migration and international trade. These movements facilitate high population admixture and genetic diversity, with important economic, biosecurity, and control implications in today's agricultural landscape. This is particularly true for the spread of resistance alleles to transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins that are planted over vast areas to suppress Helicoverpa spp. The ability to track long-distance movement through radar technology, population genetic markers, and/or long-distance dispersal modeling has advanced in recent years, yet we still know relatively little about the population trajectories or migratory routes in Helicoverpa spp. Here, we consider how experimental and theoretical approaches can be integrated to fill key knowledge gaps and assist management practices.