Voracity and feeding preferences of two aphidophagous coccinellids on Aphis citricola and Tetranychus urticae

Authors

  • Éric Lucas,

    1. Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888 Succ. ‘Centre-ville’, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8
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  • Daniel Coderre,

    1. Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888 Succ. ‘Centre-ville’, Montréal, Québec, Canada H3C 3P8
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  • Charles Vincent

    1. Centre de recherche et de développement en horticulture, agriculture et agro-alimentaire Canada, 430 Boul. Gouin, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada J3B 3E6
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Abstract

Voracity and feeding preferences of adult Coccinella septempunctata L. and Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae, tribe Coccinellini) were evaluated in the laboratory on a common prey, the spirea aphid, Aphis citricola van der Goot (Homoptera: Aphididae), and on the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acarina: Tetranychidae), a prey previously unrecorded for these two predators. The experiments were carried out in the laboratory on apple saplings (Malus domestica Borkhausen). Adult males and females of H. axyridis consumed significantly more mites than adults of C. septempunctata. For H. axyridis, males consumed 41.3 spider mites in 24 h and females 48.4, whereas for C. septempunctata males consumed 14.1 prey and females 15.2. The consumption of spirea aphids by the males was similar for the two species. Consumption by the females was significantly greater for H. axyridis (46.5) than for C. septempunctata (22.2). The two coccinellids showed a significant preference for A. citricola in the presence of T. urticae. This preference was more pronounced for C. septempunctata. The total number of prey consumed and the percentage of exploited biomass decreased significantly for C. septempunctata and stayed relatively constant for H. axyridis as the number of mites increased in the prey ratio. Our results suggest that T. urticae is only an alternative prey for both predators, and that H. axyridis should be more efficient than C. septempunctata in a prey assemblage with aphids and mites.

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