The key difference between monophagous and polyphagous pest is that a monophagous pest is an insect that is known to feed on only a single species of plants, while a polyphagous pest is an insect that is known to feed on species from 2 or more plant families.
A pest is an organism that attacks or harms other animals, plants, or crops for food. Herbivorous pests are insects that feed on various plant materials, damaging plants. These insects cause substantial economic loss to plant breeders. Herbivorous pests are mainly of three types: monophagous, oligophagous, and polyphagous.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is a Monophagous Pest
3. What is a Polyphagous Pest
4. Similarities – Monophagous and Polyphagous Pest
5. Monophagous vs. Polyphagous Pest in Tabular Form
6. FAQ – Monophagous and Polyphagous Pest
7. Summary – Monophagous vs. Polyphagous Pest
What is a Monophagous Pest?
A monophagous pest is an insect that depends on only one species of plant for its entire lifecycle. One of the best examples of a monophagous pest is Bombyx mori on Morus alba. The domestic moth is Bombyx mori, commonly known as the Mulberry silkworm, which is a monophagous insect or pest that feeds exclusively on mulberry throughout its life. Moreover, Chlorantraniliprole is a new insecticide of the anthranilic diamide class that has been used to control Bombyx mori in field crops.
Another well-known example is Scirpophaga incertulas, commonly known as the yellow stem borer. It is a major rice pest harvested annually, causing serious damage to rice plants by transforming them into dead or white tassels. The split release of Trichogramma japonicum can effectively control this pest.
What is a Polyphagous Pest?
A polyphagous pest is an insect, primarily an agricultural pest, that feeds on species from 2 or more economically important agricultural and horticultural plant families. They cause immense damage across different plants. Locusta migratoria is the best example of a polyphagous pest. It is found throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
Locusta migratoria can infest and feed on graminaceous crops such as sugarcane, rice, and wheat, which have been reported in different countries. Other examples of polyphagous pests are termites, aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, scale insects, gram pod borer, fall armyworms, thrips, mites, and rodents. Furthermore, polyphagous pests can be controlled by using well-rotten manure, dropping aluminium phosphide tablets, pouring chlorpyriphos 20EC diluted in water, and chemicals like fenvalerate, quinalphos, and dichlorvos.
What are the Similarities Between Monophagous and Polyphagous Pests?
- Monophagous and polyphagous pests are two insect pests classified based on host plant specificities.
- Both pests can feed on agriculturally important crops.
- They cause substantial economic loss to farmers and plant breeders.
- Insecticides can control them.
What is the Difference Between Monophagous and Polyphagous Pest?
A monophagous pest is an insect known to feed only on a single species of plants, while a polyphagous pest is an insect known to feed on species from 2 or more plant families. Thus, this is the key difference between monophagous and polyphagous pest. Furthermore, monophagous pest causes less damage to the plants, while polyphagous pest causes immense damage to the plants.
The infographic below presents the differences between monophagous and polyphagous pests in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
FAQ: Monophagous and Polyphagous Pest
What is a monophagous pest of rice?
Yellow stem borer, or Scirpophaga incertulas, is an example of a monophagous pest of rice.
What is the most destructive polyphagous insect?
Helicoverpa armigera (Cotton bollworm) is one of the most destructive and one of the most serious pests that affect more than 150 different agricultural crops throughout the world.
Are aphids Polyphagous?
The majority of pest aphids are not especially polyphagous.
Summary – Monophagous vs. Polyphagous Pest
Monophagous and polyphagous pests are two insect pests classified based on host plant specificities. Monophagous pest depends only on one species of plants for the whole lifecycle. In contrast, a polyphagous pest is an insect known to feed on species of 2 or more plant families. Furthermore, examples of monophagous pests are Bombyx mori and Scirpophaga incertulas, whereas examples of polyphagous pests are Locusta migratoria, termites, aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, scale insects, gram pod borer, fall armyworm, thrips, mites, and rodents. Hence, this summarizes the difference between monophagous and polyphagous pest.
1. Cates, Rex G. “Feeding Patterns of Monophagous, Oligophagous, and Polyphagous Insect Herbivores: The Effect of Resource Abundance and Plant Chemistry – Oecologia.” SpringerLink, Springer-Verlag.
1. “Epilachna argus (2105858909)” By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium – Epilachna argusUploaded by Jacopo Werther (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Chilocorinae Coleoptera Polyphagous Borers Free Photo” (CC0) via NeedPix