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Bull Entomol Res. 2006 Oct;96(5):489-96.

Effects of temperature on predation by the stinkbugs Picromerus bidens and Podisus maculiventris (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) on noctuid caterpillars.

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1
Department of Crop Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan, Rafsanjan, Iran.

Abstract

Environmental risks associated with the use of non-indigenous organisms for augmentative biological control have received growing attention. In Europe, the native pentatomid predator Picromerus bidens (Linnaeus) has been considered a potential alternative to the North American pentatomid Podisus maculiventris (Say) for the control of lepidopteran, coleopteran and hymenopteran defoliator pests. In the current study, prey consumption and developmental duration of the predatory stages of P. bidens and P. maculiventris were investigated at three temperatures (18, 23 and 27 degrees C) in the laboratory using caterpillars of Spodoptera littoralis as prey. Development time from second to fifth instar was longer for P. bidens than for P. maculiventris, taking on average 17-44 and 14-32 days, respectively, at the different temperatures. Total nymphal consumption of fourth instar S. littoralis caterpillars indicated a greater voracity of P. bidens as compared with P. maculiventris at both the low and high temperatures tested (18 and 27 degrees C). At 23 degrees C, however, the predation rate of P. maculiventris nymphs exceeded that of P. bidens nymphs. Effect of temperature on the functional response of P. bidens to densities of fourth instar Spodoptera exigua was assessed on potted green bean plants. Female adults of P. bidens exhibited a type II functional response at 18 and 23 degrees C but a type III response at 27 degrees C. Searching efficiency was not affected by temperature but handling time decreased from 4.2 to 1.4 h as temperature increased from 18 to 23 degrees C. However, the predator spent twice as much time handling prey at 27 degrees C (2.9 h) than at 23 degrees C. This study indicates high predation rates of P. bidens at a wide range of temperatures and suggests that the species may be a valuable asset for the biological control of defoliating caterpillars, provided that obstacles to its mass production can be overcome.

PMID:
17092360
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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