Oviposition preference of Lygocoris pabulinus (Het., Miridae) in relation to plants and conspecifics



Abstract: To predict possible locations of Lygocoris pabulinus (L) in the field during the summer, we determined their oviposition preference under summer conditions. With L. pabulinus reared on potato, oviposition preference was determined for potato, tomato or green bean. As preference may depend on larval or early adult experience, the oviposition preference of bugs reared on green bean for three generations, and of bugs captured from the field 12 h prior to the experiment was also determined. All females showed a strong preference for potato plants, on which fecundity was higher. Hence, although L. pabulinus is a generalist in its feeding habits, the summer generation seems to be an oviposition specialist. Aggregation of ovipositing females does not seem to occur; similar amounts of eggs were oviposited in plants with clip cages containing conspecifics as in plants without conspecifics. More eggs were oviposited in damaged plants than in undamaged plants. Plant volatiles released upon damage may aid L. pabulinus females in finding suitable oviposition sites.