The European sunflower moth (Homoeosoma nebulellum Denis & Schiffermuller) is a pest insect that oviposits exculsively on flowering Compositae. We studied the influence of the presence of host plant pollen (sunflower and milk thistle) and non-host plant pollen (hazel) on the calling and oviposition behaviour of this moth species and compared our results with those obtained by Delisle et al. (1989) and McNeil & Delisle (1989) on the American sunflower moth (Homoeosoma electellum). Although the temporal pattern of calling of 24 h-old females was not modified by the presence of pollen, 48 h-old females called earlier when kept with either host plant or non-host plant pollen. This effect was partly induced by volatile cues. The presence of pollen on oviposition sites increased the number of eggs laid by the females. This effect was stronger with pollen from host plants than with pollen from a non-host plant and was mainly controlled by non-volatile chemical cues. The degree of host plant dependence seems to be lower in the European species than in the American species.
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