Microcosm studies on intraguild predation between female erigonid spiders and lacewing larvae and influence of single versus multiple predators on cereal aphids


Author's address: Dr axel dinter, DuPont de Nemours (Deutschland) GmbH, DuPont Str. 1, D-61352 Bad Homburg v.d.H., Germany. E-mail: Axel.Dinter@deu.dupont.com


Abstract:  Intraguild predation between female erigonid spiders [Erigone atra (Blackwall) and Oedothorax apicatus (Blackwall), Araneae, Erigonidae] and lacewing larvae (second instar larvae of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens), Neuropt., Chrysopidae) and interaction effects of predator combinations on cereal aphids were investigated in a microcosm system under laboratory conditions. The microcosm experiments were run for 7 days and consisted of 15wheat seedlings, 15 Sitobion avenae (F) (Hom., Aphididae) as start population, plus a female spider or a lacewing larva or a combination of a spider plus a lacewing larva. The mortality rate of lacewing larvae was significantly increased by 44 and 31% due to intraguild predation by female spiders of E. atra and O. apicatus in comparison with lacewing larvae that were kept alone. The final aphid numbers in the microcosms were significantly reduced by all single predator treatments (spiders, lacewing larvae) and the predator combinations in comparison with controls without predators. The predation effect on aphid populations due to both spider species was similar and not statistically different. An additive effect of the predator combinations ‘spider plus surviving lacewing larva’ was found for both spider species resulting in reduced aphid numbers compared with the single predator treatments. When the lacewing larva was killed by an E. atra female the effects on aphids were non-additive, but aphid numbers were not statistically increased compared with the lacewing larva treatment. When the lacewing larva was killed by an O. apicatus female, the effects of spider and C. carnea larva were additive on aphid numbers. In the presence of additional prey (fruit flies and Collembola) intraguild predation was not found and E. atra females had no significant effect on the survival of lacewing larvae. In addition, E. atra females had no significant effect on aphid numbers in the presence of fruit flies and Collembola, but in combination with a lacewing larva that survived, a significantly greater reduction of the aphid population was observed compared with the lacewing larva treatment. The body mass of lacewing larvae at the end of the experiment was not statistically influenced by the presence or absence of an E. atra female.