• arctiid moth;
  • castor;
  • jute;
  • sesame;
  • sunflower


Effects of four host-plants, sunflower, castor, jute and sesame, on feeding, growth and reproduction of Diacrisia casignetum Kollar (Lepidoptera: Arctiidae) were studied under laboratory conditions (27 ± 0.5°C, 12 h light : 12 h dark, 65 ± 5% RH). Total larval developmental time of D. casignetum was highest on sesame than the other three host-plants used in this study, but pupal duration was higher on sesame than sunflower but not for other dietary treatments. The longevity of females was generally longer than males. Male and female longevity was higher in sunflower than sesame (P <0.05), but it did not differ significantly among other treatments. Fecundity was highest in sunflower followed by castor, jute and sesame. The growth and development of D. casignetum were related to nutrient and phenol contents of these four host-plants. Total carbohydrates and amino acids were present in rich quantities in sunflower when compared to other three host leaves, while nitrogen, protein and lipid contents were comparatively higher in sunflower and castor than jute and sesame. Phenol content was greatest in sesame, and least in castor and sunflower. Higher levels of total carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, nitrogen and amino acids including water content and lower phenol content of sunflower have influenced higher growth rate and fecundity of D. casignetum.