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Article

Functional Response and Predation Rate of Dicyphus cerastii Wagner (Hemiptera: Miridae)

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Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
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Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food (LEAF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
3
Forest Research Centre (CEF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric W. Riddick
Insects 2021, 12(6), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12060530
Received: 14 May 2021 / Revised: 3 June 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 7 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Natural Enemies and Biological Control of Plant Pests)
Biological control (BC) is an effective way to regulate pest populations in horticultural crops, allowing the decrease of pesticide usage. On tomato, predatory insects like plant bugs or mirids provide BC services against several insect pests. Native predators are adapted to local conditions of climate and ecology and therefore may be well suited to provide BC services. Dicyphus cerastii is a predatory mirid that is present in the Mediterranean region and occurs in tomato greenhouses in Portugal. However, little is known about its contribution to BC in this crop. In this study, we evaluated how prey consumption is affected by increasing prey abundance on four different prey, in laboratory conditions. We found that the predator can increase its predation rate until a maximum is reached and that prey characteristics like size and mobility can affect predation. Dicyphus cerastii showed high predation rates for all prey species tested, allowing us to conclude that this species is an interesting predator for BC in tomato crops.
Dicyphine mirids are important biological control agents (BCAs) in horticultural crops. Dicyphus cerastii Wagner can be found in protected tomato crops in Portugal, and has been observed feeding on several tomato pests. However, the predation capacity of this species is poorly studied. In order to investigate the predation capacity of D. cerastii, and how it is affected by prey size and mobility, we evaluated the functional response (FR) and predation rate of female predators on different densities of four prey species: Myzus persicae 1st instar nymphs (large mobile prey), Bemisia tabaci 4th instar nymphs, Ephestia kuehniella eggs (large immobile prey) and Tuta absoluta eggs (small immobile prey). Experiments were performed on tomato leaflets in Petri dish arenas for 24 h. Dicyphus cerastii exhibited type II FR for all prey tested. The predator effectively preyed upon all prey, consuming an average of 88.8 B. tabaci nymphs, 134.4 E. kuehniella eggs, 37.3 M. persicae nymphs and 172.3 T. absoluta eggs. Differences in the FR parameters, attack rate and handling time, suggested that prey size and mobility affected predation capacity. Considering the very high predation rates found for all prey species, D. cerastii proved to be an interesting candidate BCA for tomato crops. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological control; dicyphini; Bemisia tabaci; Ephestia kuehniella; Myzus persicae; Tuta absoluta; protected crops; tomato biological control; dicyphini; Bemisia tabaci; Ephestia kuehniella; Myzus persicae; Tuta absoluta; protected crops; tomato
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MDPI and ACS Style

Abraços-Duarte, G.; Ramos, S.; Valente, F.; Borges da Silva, E.; Figueiredo, E. Functional Response and Predation Rate of Dicyphus cerastii Wagner (Hemiptera: Miridae). Insects 2021, 12, 530. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12060530

AMA Style

Abraços-Duarte G, Ramos S, Valente F, Borges da Silva E, Figueiredo E. Functional Response and Predation Rate of Dicyphus cerastii Wagner (Hemiptera: Miridae). Insects. 2021; 12(6):530. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12060530

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abraços-Duarte, Gonçalo, Susana Ramos, Fernanda Valente, Elsa Borges da Silva, and Elisabete Figueiredo. 2021. "Functional Response and Predation Rate of Dicyphus cerastii Wagner (Hemiptera: Miridae)" Insects 12, no. 6: 530. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12060530

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