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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY BASED CEREAL APHID MANAGMENT Title: Larval life history responses to food deprivation in three species of predatory lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Authors
item Phoofolo, Mpho -
item Giles, Kristopher -
item Elliott, Norman

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 12, 2007
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Repository URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/20002
Citation: Phoofolo, M.W., Giles, K.L., Elliott, N.C. 2008. Larvel life history responses to food deprivation in three species of predatory lady beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Environmental Entomology. 37(2):315-322.

Interpretive Summary: Coccinellids are important predators of aphid pests of agricultural crops. Understanding the biology and ecology of these predatory insects is essential to being able to determine their potential for biological control under particular circumstances and finding ways to increase their biological control impact. We studied life history responses of larvae of three coccinellid species, Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer), Hippodamia convergens Guerin-Meneville, and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), when deprived of food for different periods of time during the fourth stadium. Based on this laboratory study, it would seem that H. convergens is better able to cope with acute nutritional stress than either C. maculata or H. axyridis. The practical significance of the study is that it demonstrated that the coccinellid species have unique responses to food shortage, which frequently occurs in the field. Thus, among other factors, biological control of aphids can be expected to vary among coccinellid species depending on their to food deprivation in the field.

Technical Abstract: We studied life history responses of larvae of three coccinellid species, Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer), Hippodamia convergens Guerin-Meneville, and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), when deprived of food for different periods of time during the fourth stadium. The coccinellid species did not differ in starvation resistance when larvae were starved throughout the stadium; however, for larvae fed only on day 1 of the stadium, H. convergens had the highest starvation resistance, followed by H. axyridis and then C. maculata. Percentage weight loss of larvae was affected by food deprivation period and coccinellid species. Both C. maculata and H. axyridis lost significantly more weight than H. convergens when starved throughout the fourth stadium. When deprived of food for 4 d of the stadium, C. maculata lost a higher percentage of initial body weight than H. axyridis. Percentage weight loss of H. convergens did not differ from that of C. maculata or H. axyridis. The weight of fourth instars and adults declined in an accelerating pattern as food deprivation period increased. However, food deprivation period had no significant effect on pupal development time for any of the three species or on larval development time for C. maculata and H. convergens. The increase in H. axyridis larval development time as a result of an increase in food deprivation period was curvilinear. Based on this laboratory study, it would seem that H. convergens is better able to cope with acute nutritional stress than either C. maculata or H. axyridis.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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