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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Biological Control of Pests Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #333701

Research Project: Production and Deployment of Natural Enemies for Biological Control of Arthropod Pests

Location: Biological Control of Pests Research

Title: Temperature-dependent biological and demographic parameters of Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

item Morales Ramos, Juan
item Rojas, Maria - Guadalupe

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2017
Publication Date: 4/10/2017
Citation: Morales Ramos, J.A., Rojas, M.G. 2017. Temperature-dependent biological and demographic parameters of Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Journal of Insect Science. 17(2):1-9.

Interpretive Summary: The pink spotted lady beetle, Coleomegilla maculata, is an important predator of pests such as moth and beetle eggs, aphids, and spider mites. This important predator has the potential to become an biological control agent of multiple pests in enclosed berry and vegetable crops such as greenhouses and high tunnels. However, techniques for mass producing it are still primitive and many aspects of its biology are still unknown. For instance, the optimal temperature range which would favor its development and reproduction. This study was designed to answer the basic questions of minimal and maximum temperature thresholds for development and the optimal temperature for growth and reproduction. The results of this study indicate that the high and low temperature thresholds for reproduction of the pink spotted lady beetle are 35 and 11 degrees Celsius, respectively. The optimal temperature for growth and reproduction was 25 degrees Celsius. This information is critical for the production of the pink spotted lady beetle and will encourage the development of commercial mass production technologies.

Technical Abstract: The temperature requirements for development and the optimal range of temperatures for growth and reproduction of Coleomegilla maculata De Geer were studied. The development time of individual C. maculata larvae were determined at 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, and 36°C. Development times were converted to development rates and fitted to a non-linear temperature-dependent model and to the linear day-degree model. Life and fertility table analysis was used to determine the optimal temperature for population growth within a range of favorable temperatures including 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28°C. Non-linear estimated of thermal maximum (TM) for the post embryonic development of C. maculata was 35.09 ± 10.35°C. Estimation of TM based on pupal development was much lower at 27.23 ± 1.52°C. Linear and non-linear estimates of low temperature development threshold (LDT) were 13.13 ± and 4.77 ± 3.03°C for the whole post embryonic development and 10.95 and 9.18 ± 1.36°C for the pupal stage alone, respectively. The most favorable temperature for population growth was 25°C, where C. maculata showed significantly higher intrinsic rate of increase (rm = 0.066) and significantly lower doubling time (DT = 10.57 d) than the other favorable temperatures tested. A negative value of rm was obtained at 28°C indicating population decline occurring at this temperature making it unfavorable for C. maculata.