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1. The simultaneous effects of allelochemicals ingested by herbivorous insect prey and prey scarcity on the performance of a generalist insect predator were examined.

2. Fifth-instar predatory stinkbugs (Podisusmaculiventris: Pentatomidae) were fed caterpillars (Manducasexta: Sphingidae) in three prey scarcity treatments: every day (unlimited amount), one caterpillar every third day, one caterpillar every fifth day. The caterpillars were fed either a plain diet or a diet containing rutin, chlorogenic acid and tomatine, which are three of the major allelochemicals in tomato leaves (Lycopersiconesculentum: Solanaceae), the preferred food of these caterpillars.

3. Food consumed, efficiency of conversion of ingested food to biomass (ECI), biomass gained, stadium duration and relative growth rate (RGR) of predators were negatively affected by prey scarcity. The allelochemicals negatively affected food consumed and ECI.

4. There were prey scarcity by allelochemical interactions for ECI, biomass gained and RGR. For ECI, the allelochemicals had a greater negative impact on the predatory stinkbugs when prey were scarce. When prey diet contained allelochemicals, biomass gained and RGR declined more steeply with increased prey scarcity. There was an allelochemical by predator gender interaction for biomass gained. Allelochemicals had no effect on biomass gained by female stinkbugs, whereas biomass gained declined more steeply with increased prey scarcity for male stinkbugs fed caterpillars containing allelochemicals than for males fed control caterpillars.