Inferring Biological Control Potential of Adult Predatory Coccinellids Using Life History Traits and Putative Habitat Preference

M. Amin Jalali, M. Reza Mehrnejad, Peter C. Ellsworth, Eric Riddick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aspects of the nutritional ecology and life histories of five predatory coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) - two arboreal predator species, Oenopia conglobata contaminata (Menetries) and Adalia bipunctata (Linnaeus), and three herbaceous dwelling predator species, Coccinella undecimpunctata aegyptica (Reiche), Exochomus nigripennis (Erichson), and Hippodamia variegata (Goeze) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) - were compared when fed either Agonoscena pistaciae Burckhardt and Lauterer (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae), the key psylla pest of pistachio trees, or Aphis gossypii Glover (Hemiptera: Aphididae), a common aphid on herbaceous plants in pistachio orchards. The putative habitat preferences of four of the five coccinellids studied were consistent with their performance on the major herbivore present in those two habitats in terms of net reproductive rate. Oenopia conglobata contaminata and Ad. bipunctata showed higher net reproductive rates when fed on pistachio psylla prey, whereas C. undecimpunctata aegyptiaca and E. nigripennis had better reproductive output on aphid prey. Moreover, E. nigripennis was the most specialized of these generalist predators, eating more and reproducing better when fed aphids. Hippodamia variegata was relatively unaffected by the diet offered, suggesting greater ability to switch among herbivore prey and perhaps better potential as a biocontrol agent with abilities to exploit Ag. pistaciae without large life history tradeoffs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2116-2120
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Volume112
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 23 2019

Keywords

  • Aphididae
  • Coccinellidae
  • food consumption
  • life table
  • pistachio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

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