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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332991

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Tactics to Manage Invasive Insect Pests and Weeds

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: Podisus distinctus (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) females are lighter feeding on Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) pupae subjected to ventral nerve cord transection

Author
item Tavares, Wagner - Universidade Federal De Vicosa
item Da Silva, Isabel - Universidade Federal De Vicosa
item Legaspi, Jesusa - Susie
item Serrao, Jose - Universidade Federal De Vicosa
item Zanuncio, Jose - Universidade Federal De Vicosa
item Serrao, Jose - Universidade Federal De Vicosa

Submitted to: Entomologica Americana
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2016
Publication Date: 12/18/2017
Citation: Tavares, W.S., Da Silva, I.M., Legaspi, J.C., Serrao, J.E., Zanuncio, J.C., Serrao, J.E. 2017. Podisus distinctus (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) females are lighter feeding on Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) pupae subjected to ventral nerve cord transection. Entomologica Americana. 123(1-4):35-41.

Interpretive Summary: Predatory stinkbugs are utilized as an important component of biological control programs for insect pests on agricultural crops. Prey movement or lack of movement can be a critical element in predator recognition of prey and is sometimes used as a defense mechanism against their predators. In this study, scientists at the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Tallahassee, Florida, in collaboration with researchers from Florida A&M University, Center for Biological Control, Tallahassee, Florida, examined the effects of mealworm prey mobility on growth of a predatory stinkbug. The stinkbugs were fed mealworms that were either immobile, those whose central nerves were cut, or normal mobile mealworms. Following a feeding period, the stinkbugs were compared in several ways, including weight, life span, and numbers of eggs laid. Few differences were found between the prey groups except that stinkbugs fed on mobile prey weighed more. The results of this study will aid in developing protocols for mass rearing of this predator for use in augmentative biological control programs against several important defoliating caterpillars of agricultural and forest plants.

Technical Abstract: The movement observed in the Tenebrio molitor L., 1758 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) pupae can be a type of defense strategy. This makes it significant to study the development and reproduction of the predatory stinkbugs Asopinae with the immobilized pupae of this prey. The aim was to evaluate the performance of Podisus distinctus Stäl, 1860 (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) with the immobilized or loose T. molitor pupae in the laboratory. The Ventral Nerve Cord (VNC) of the T. molitor pupae was transected utilizing surgical forceps (T1, immobilized pupae), while the control included intact pupae (T2, loose pupae). These pupae were offered to the P. distinctus nymphs and adults. The duration and body mass in the III, IV and V instars; duration from the V instar to adult stage; body mass of the newly emerged adults; adult sex ratio; total number of egg masses, eggs per female and per egg mass; total nymphs per female and per egg mass; percentage of nymphs hatched; female longevity and the pre-oviposition, oviposition and post-oviposition periods of this predator were evaluated. The body mass of the P. distinctus adults was greater with the loose T. molitor pupae; however, the other parameters showed similar values between treatments. Loose T. molitor pupae are preferred for rearing the predator P. distinctus.