Location: Biological Control of Pests ResearchTitle: Effects of bioflavonoids on oviposition behavior in the pink-spotted ladybird beetle Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
Submitted to: Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2016
Publication Date: 2/23/2017
Citation: Riddick, E.W., Wu, Z., Eller, F.J., Berhow, M.A. 2017. Effects of bioflavonoids on oviposition behavior in the pink-spotted ladybird beetle Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Mississippi Academy of Sciences Proceedings. 62(1):138.
Technical Abstract: One goal of our current research is to mass produce ladybird beetles for biological control of plant pests in greenhouses and other protective structures. Cost-effective mass production involves the use of alternative prey/foods or artificial diets (rather than natural prey, e.g., aphids). One challenge is stimulating females to oviposit their full potential of eggs in rearing systems devoid of natural prey. In this study, we test the hypothesis that bioflavonoids stimulate and boost oviposition in the pink-spotted ladybird beetle Coleomegilla maculata DeGeer. Bioassays were setup in small plastic cages with screened tops in which individual females were exposed to bioflavonoids (1 mg, pure powder). These included taxifolin, quercetin, kaempferol, catechin hydrate, naringenin, and genistein placed inside a small Petri dish at the base of test cages. Over 12 consecutive days, we monitored the location of egg clutches, the number of egg clutches, and the number of eggs per clutch laid per female in test and control cages. We discovered that quercetin was most stimulatory; more than 90% of egg clutches were oviposited within 1-3 cm of quercetin. Kaempferol was least stimulatory; less than 20% of egg clutches were oviposited near this compound. When pooled over the 12-day bioassay period, the total number of egg clutches was approximately 1.5 fold greater in test cages than in control cages (lacking bioflavonoids), in two of the three replicate bioassays. In conclusion, quercetin is a strong stimulant with potential to boost oviposition in C. maculata in rearing operations.