Assessment of Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) predation of the Colorado potato beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

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Munyaneza, Joseph
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John J. Obrycki
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The Department of Entomology seeks to teach the study of insects, their life-cycles, and the practicalities in dealing with them, for use in the fields of business, industry, education, and public health. The study of entomology can be applied towards evolution and ecological sciences, and insects’ relationships with other organisms & humans, or towards an agricultural or horticultural focus, focusing more on pest-control and management.

The Department of Entomology was founded in 1975 as a result of the division of the Department of Zoology and Entomology.

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The functional response, foraging behavior, and developmental and reproductive responses of fourth instars and adults of the predatory lady beetle Coleomegilla maculata DeGeer (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were investigated under laboratory, greenhouse, and field conditions. Prey were eggs of Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Coleomegilla maculata fourth instars exhibited a type II functional response to L. decemlineata eggs under laboratory, greenhouse, and field conditions. The maximum attack rate in the field was about half of that observed in the laboratory or greenhouse. The differences in prey density and environmental conditions seem to be major contributing factors in determining the differences in the rate of predation. Coleomegilla maculata fourth instars exhibited both extrinsic and area-restricted search behaviors. Coleomegilla maculata larvae searched a greater amount of leaf area and for a longer time period at low prey density than at high prey density. At higher prey densities, predators spent more time resting than did predators at low prey density. Successful larvae consumed approximately 8 eggs during 4 h period, and the handling time was approximately 8 minutes per egg. Preimaginal survival of C. maculata reared on L. decemlineata eggs ranged from 1.7 to 30% for C. maculata populations from Iowa, Rhode Island, and Honduras. The highest mortality of C. maculata immature stages occurred during the early (first and second) stadia. Development of C. maculata was slowest on L. decemlineata eggs and fastest on pea aphids. However, when first and second instars were provided with aphids, followed by L. decemlineata eggs, there was no observed delay in larval development. Eggs of L. decemlineata are adequate prey for C. maculata egg production. The preoviposition period was significantly shorter for C. maculata feeding on pea aphids than those feeding on L. decemlineata eggs. At the lowest L. decemlineata egg density (2 eggs/day), females had longer preoviposition periods than at the higher prey densities. No difference in fecundity among females feeding on different diets was observed, even at a low prey density of 2 eggs per day.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1996