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Insects 2014, 5(4), 974-983; doi:10.3390/insects5040974

Intraguild Predation Responses in Two Aphidophagous Coccinellids Identify Differences among Juvenile Stages and Aphid Densities

Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Perugia, Borgo XX Giugno 74, Perugia 06121, Italy
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Received: 14 August 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
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Abstract

(1) Intraguild predation (IGP) can occur among aphidophagous predators thus reducing their effectiveness in controlling crop pests. Among ladybirds, Coccinella septempunctata L. and Hippodamia variegata Goeze are the most effective predators upon Aphis gossypii Glov., which is an economically important pest of melon. Understanding their likelihood to engage in reciprocal predation is a key point for conservation of biological control. Here, we aim to investigate, under laboratory conditions, the level of IGP between the two above mentioned aphidophagous species. (2) Fourth-instars of the two species were isolated in petri dishes with combinations of different stages of the heterospecific ladybird and different densities of A. gossypii. The occurrence of IGP events was recorded after six hours. (3) C. septempunctata predated H. variegata at a higher rate than vice versa (70% vs. 43% overall). Higher density of the aphid or older juvenile stage of the IG-prey (22% of fourth instars vs. 74% of eggs and second instars) reduces the likelihood of predation. (4) To our knowledge, IGP between C. septempunctata and H. variegata was investigated for the first time. Results represent a baseline, necessary to predict the likelihood of IGP occurrence in the field. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aphis gossypii; biological control; Coccinella septempunctata; competitive interactions; Hippodamia variegata Aphis gossypii; biological control; Coccinella septempunctata; competitive interactions; Hippodamia variegata
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rondoni, G.; Ielo, F.; Ricci, C.; Conti, E. Intraguild Predation Responses in Two Aphidophagous Coccinellids Identify Differences among Juvenile Stages and Aphid Densities. Insects 2014, 5, 974-983.

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