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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Sustainable Pest Management Strategies for Arid-land Crops

Location: Pest Management and Biocontrol Research

Title: Deciphering Scavenging Propensity Among Arthropod Predators.

Authors
item Zilnik, Gabriel -
item HAGLER, JAMES

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 13, 2011
Publication Date: April 13, 2011
Citation: Zilnik, G., Hagler, J.R. 2011. Deciphering Scavenging Propensity Among Arthropod Predators.. Meeting Abstract. pg 15.

Interpretive Summary: Scavenging is a well documented feeding behavior among many arthrop predators. However, quantifying scavenging feeding activity is not well understood because many predators are small elusive. This makes directly observing predation events in nature almost impossible. If predators prefer dead prey (carrion) to live prey, this would diminish thier impact as biological control agents. As such, determining the rate of feeding activity by predators on liveprey or carrion is of great importance. The objective of this study was to develop a method to indirectly study predatorfeeding activity on the sweet potato whitefly, a major agronomic pest. To do this, we marked cohorts of living and dead whiteflies, each with a unique protein. Then, the two whitefly cohorts were exposed to three insect predator species: Chrysoperla rufilabris, Collops vittatus, and Hippodamia convergens for a period of time. In turn, the predator's gut contents were analyzed for the presence of the two unique protein marks using protein-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The ELISAs provide a method to indirectly measure the feeding choice exhibited by these predators in nature. Ultimately, this method of predator assessment will be used to determine the role of scavenging in the field.

Technical Abstract: Scavenging is a well documented feeding behavior among many arthrop predators. However, quantifying scavenging feeding activity is not well understood because many predators are small elusive. This makes directly observing predation events in nature almost impossible. If predators prefer dead prey (carrion) to live prey, this would diminish thier impact as biological control agents. As such, determining the rate of feeding activity by predators on liveprey or carrion is of great importance. The objective of this study was to develop a method to indirectly study predatorfeeding activity on the sweet potato whitefly, a major agronomic pest. To do this, we marked cohorts of living and dead whiteflies, each with a unique protein. Then, the two whitefly cohorts were exposed to three insect predator species: Chrysoperla rufilabris, Collops vittatus, and Hippodamia convergens for a period of time. In turn, the predator's gut contents were analyzed for the presence of the two unique protein marks using protein-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). The ELISAs provide a method to indirectly measure the feeding choice exhibited by these predators in nature. Ultimately, this method of predator assessment will be used to determine the role of scavenging in the field.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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