Susie Legaspi, Mentor
William Allen sexing a spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris (Say) under a stereo microscope.
This summer William Allen sought to determine what effect, if any, diet has on the fecundity of the spined soldier bug. Specifically, he fed his subjects five different prey species to see if there was any difference in egg laying output as a result of available prey.
William Allen preparing a pheromone trap to collect the spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris (Say).
Effect of prey type on fecundity of spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae)
Previous studies on prey preference of Podisus maculiventris indicated its preference for the beet army worm (BAW) to other prey choices. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of prey type on the fecundity or egg production of P. maculiventris. A total of 5 different prey species were given to the female Podisus. These were beet army worm (BAW), Spodoptera exigua; fall army worm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda; cabbage looper (CL), Trichoplusia ni; greater waxmoth (WAX), Galleria mellonella and yellow mealworm (MW), Tenebrio molitor. We will also determine the level of vitellogenin, a protein vital to egg production. Each female was mated with a male every 3 days after the start of the experiment. The number of eggs laid per day were recorded. Preliminary results indicated no significant difference in the mean number of eggs laid per female under the different feeding treatments at 7 days after the start of the experiment. Further studies on the effect of prey type on fecundity and amount of vitellogenin at 15, 22 and 30 days after the start of experiment are ongoing.