Macrolophus pygmaeus (Hemiptera: Miridae) foraging on tomato leaves from different plant strata
- 11 Downloads
This study investigates the foraging activity of the generalist predator Macrolophus pygmaeus (Rambur) (Hemiptera: Miridae) on tomato leaves of different vertical plant strata (apex, top, middle and lower). On a leaflet of each tested leaf, ten 2nd instar nymphs of the aphid Myzus persicae were established with the aid of harmless glue, as prey. It was observed that prey consumption was highest on the lower leaves. There was no significant difference in prey consumption between middle and top leaves but it significantly reduced on the apex leaves as compared to the top and the lower leaves. Behavioural observations were conducted to assess the time budgets (i.e. time spent in each activity such as searching, resting, grooming) of the foraging predator on leaves of each plant strata. The predator spent significantly more time in grooming on apex than on lower leaves whereas it showed a higher tendency to fall off from the apex leaves than the leaves of the other plant strata. The apex leaves had the highest trichome density and this may impede movement of the predator. In the third experiment, the prey consumption of M. pygmaeus nymphs was reduced with the increase of distance between its release point and the prey patch on a tomato plant. In conclusion, M. pygmaeus nymphs are most efficient in foraging on the middle or lower leaves of young tomato plants whereas their prey searching efficiency is influenced by the distance between their release point and the prey patch. Therefore, the efficacy of M. pygmaeus nymphs in pest control may be benefited if released close to prey patches but not on the apex leaves.
KeywordsBiological control Macrolophus pygmaeus Prey searching behavior Time allocation Vertical plant strata
This research was supported by the European Commission by Erasmus Mundus BRAVE fellowship. We offer special thanks to Erasmus Mundus BRAVE Coordinator Dr. Andreas Voloudakis, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. Many thanks are due to Dr. Apurba K. Barman, University of Georgia, USA, and Dr. Argyro Fantinou, Professor, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, for their valuable comments in an earlier draft of the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Aysan, E., & Kumral, N. A. (2018). Tritrophic relationships among tomato cultivars, the rust mite, Aculops lycopersici (Massee) (Eriophyidae), and its predators. Acarologia, 58, 5–17.Google Scholar
- Bottega, D. B., Souza, B. H. S. D., Rodrigues, N. E. L., Eduardo, W. I., Barbosa, J. C., & Boiça Júnior, A. L. (2017). Resistant and susceptible tomato genotypes have direct and indirect effects on Podisus nigrispinus preying on Tuta absoluta larvae. Biological Control, 106, 27–34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2016.12.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Galdino, T. V. D., Picanço, M. C., Ferreira, D. O., Silva, G. A. R., de Souza, T. C., & Silva, G. A. (2015). Is the performance of a specialist herbivore affected by female choices and the adaptability of the offspring? PLoS One, 10(11), e0143389. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0143389.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Garcia, J. F., & O’Neil, R. J. (2000). Effect of coleus size and variegation on attack rates, searching strategy, and selected life history characteristics of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Biological Control, 18, 225–234. https://doi.org/10.1006/bcon.2000.0831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gontijo, L. M., Margolies, D. C., Nechols, J. R., & Cloyd, R. A. (2010). Plant architecture, prey distribution and predator release strategy interact to affect foraging efficiency of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) on cucumber. Biological Control. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2009.11.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hassanpour, M., Bagheri, M., Golizadeh, A., & Farrokhi, S. (2016). Functional response of Nesidiocoris tenuis (Hemiptera: Miridae) to Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae): Effect of different host plants. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 26(11), 1489–1503. https://doi.org/10.1080/09583157.2016.1216521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Obrycki, J. J. (1986). The influence of foliar pubescence on entomophagous species In: D. J. Boethel & R. D. Eikenbarry (Eds.), Interactions of Plant Resistance and Parasitoids and Predators of Insects, (pp. 61–83), Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
- Perdikis, D., Lykouressis, D., & Economou, L. P. (1999). The influence of temperature, photoperiod and plant type on the predation rate of Macrolophus pygmaeus Rambur on Myzus persicae (Sulzer). Biological Control, 44, 281–289.Google Scholar
- Perdikis, D., Lucas, E., Garantonakis, N., Giatropoulos, A., Kitsis, P., Maselou, D., et al. (2009). Intraguild predation between Macrolophus pygmaeus and Nesidiocoris tenuis. IOBC/wprs Bulletin, 49, 301–305.Google Scholar
- Perdikis, D., Lucas, E., Garantonakis, N., Giatropoulos, A., Kitsis, P., Maselou, et al. (2014). Intraguild predation and sublethal interactions between two zoophytophagous mirids, Macrolophus pygmaeus and Nesidiocoris tenuis. Biological Control, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2013.12.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Sanchez, J.A., López-Gallego, E., Pérez-Marcos, M., Perera-Fernández, L.G. & Ramírez-Soria, M.J. (2018). How safe is it to rely on Macrolophus pygmaeus (Hemiptera: Miridae) as a biocontrol agent in tomato crops? Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6(SEP), 132 https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2018.00132
- SAS Institute (2018). JMP version 14.1.0. SAS Institute Inc.Google Scholar
- Stavrinides, M. C., & Skirvin, D. J. (2003). The effect of chrysanthemum leaf trichome density and prey spatial distribution on predation of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) by Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research. https://doi.org/10.1079/BER2003243.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Zappala, L., Biondi, A., Alma, A., Al-jboory, I. J., Arnó, J., Bayram, A., et al. (2013). Natural enemies of the south American moth, Tuta absoluta, in Europe, North Africa and Middle East, and their potential use in pest control strategies. Journal of Pest Science, 86, 635–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar