Comparing the predatory performance of green lacewing on cotton bollworm on conventional and Bt cotton

Authors

  • M. H. Bahar,

    1.  School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of New England, Armidale NSW, Australia
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  • J. N. Stanley,

    1.  School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of New England, Armidale NSW, Australia
    2.  Cotton Catchment Communities CRC, Narrabri, NSW, Australia
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  • P. C. Gregg,

    1.  School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of New England, Armidale NSW, Australia
    2.  Cotton Catchment Communities CRC, Narrabri, NSW, Australia
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  • A. P. Del Socorro,

    1.  School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of New England, Armidale NSW, Australia
    2.  Cotton Catchment Communities CRC, Narrabri, NSW, Australia
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  • P. Kristiansen

    1.  School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of New England, Armidale NSW, Australia
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Md. Habibullah Bahar (corresponding author), Agronomy and Soil Science building, School of Environmental and Rural Sciences, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia. E-mail: mbahar2@une.edu.au

Abstract

We compared the survival of Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) eggs and larvae on Bt and conventional cotton, in the presence or absence of the generalist predator, green lacewing larvae, Mallada signatus, (Schneider) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). In small arenas, green lacewings consumed a similar number of H. armigera eggs (ave. 15.8 ± 1.3 on conventional, 12.6 ± 1.4 on Bt cotton per predator over 24 h) and larvae (ave. 6.8 ± 0.7 conventional, 6.5 ± 0.8 Bt per predator over 24 h) whether on Bt or conventional cotton leaves. Likewise, similar numbers of eggs were consumed by each lacewing larva searching whole plants of either Bt (ave. 15.5 ± 0.6 of 49 over 24 h) or conventional (ave. 13.6 ± 1.1 of 49 over 24 h). On conventional plants over 72 h, survival of H. armigera larvae was 72.8% and decreased to 37.7% when lacewings were present, giving a net consumption rate of 35.1% (8.6 prey per predator over 72 h). On Bt cotton plants, 13.6% of the H. armigera larvae survived after 72 h and this decreased to 1.7% when lacewings were present. This combination of mortality factors operated synergistically. Helicoverpa armigera larvae moved to fruiting structures on conventional or Bt cotton but failed to survive in the squares (young flower buds) when the impacts of Bt and lacewings were combined. The removal of first to second instar H. armigera larvae from squares of Bt cotton by predators has the potential to reduce immediate pest damage and, perhaps more importantly, remove potentially Bt-resistant genotypes.

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