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Insects 2017, 8(3), 74; doi:10.3390/insects8030074

Isogroup Selection to Optimize Biocontrol Increases Cannibalism in Omnivorous (Zoophytophagous) Bugs

Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal, CP 8888, Succ. Centre Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8, Canada
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Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 25 July 2017
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Abstract

Zoophytophagous insects can substitute animals for plant resources when prey is scarce. Many arthropods feed on conspecifics to survive in these conditions. An individual’s tendency for cannibalism may depend on its genotype along with its diet specialization, in interaction with the availability of alternative food resources. We compared two isogroup lines of the zoophytophagous mullein bug, either specialized on animal or on plant diets, that were generated to improve biocontrol. We predicted that: (1) bugs from the prey-specialized line would show higher levels of cannibalism than bugs from the pollen-specialized line, and (2) both lines would decrease cannibalism levels in the presence of their preferred resource. Under laboratory conditions, large nymphal instars had 24 hours to feed on smaller instars, in the absence of additional resources, or with either spider mites or pollen present. Cannibalism was reduced by the availability of both prey and pollen, although prey had a lower effect than pollen. The intensity of cannibalism was always higher in the prey-specialized line than in the pollen-specialized line, regardless of the availability of supplemented resources. The pollen-specialized line had decreased cannibalism levels only when pollen was available. These results indicate that cannibalism is a potentially regulating force in the prey-specialized line, but not in the pollen-specialized line. View Full-Text
Keywords: cannibalism; genetic diet specialization; zoophytophagous predators; isogroup lines; plant bugs; artificial selection; biological control; Campylomma verbasci cannibalism; genetic diet specialization; zoophytophagous predators; isogroup lines; plant bugs; artificial selection; biological control; Campylomma verbasci
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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

Dumont, F.; Réale, D.; Lucas, E. Isogroup Selection to Optimize Biocontrol Increases Cannibalism in Omnivorous (Zoophytophagous) Bugs. Insects 2017, 8, 74.

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