Applied Entomology and Zoology

, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 475–482 | Cite as

Predation potential of Rhynocoris marginatus (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) against three mealybug species of agricultural importance

  • Sahayaraj KitherianEmail author
  • Vivek Kumar
  • Nazeera Banu
  • Pasco B. Avery
  • Anbu Radhika
  • Cindy L. McKenzie
  • Lance S. Osborne
Original Research Paper


The predation potential of a generalist predator Rhynocoris marginatus (Fab.) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) against three important mealybug pests of cotton, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley, Maconellicoccus hirsutus Green, and Coccidohystrix insolita Green (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) was evaluated under laboratory conditions. The specific objective of the study was to determine the prey capturing time, prey handling time, and prey preference among the three mealybug species for different developmental stages of R. marginatus. The number of prey consumed/predator/24 h by R. marginatus was dependent on the mealybug species and the predator developmental stage. Rhynocoris marginatus showed a decrease in prey capturing time and handling time as the predator grew older. After evaluating the prey stage preference, results indicated that the developmental stages of R. marginatus preferred adult mealybugs over the younger stages. In a choice-test bioassay including the three mealybug species, no significant difference in prey species selection was observed for the various R. marginatus developmental stages. However, the mortality of P. solenopsis was observed to be highest among the mealybugs, followed by M. hirsutus and C. insolita. This supports the idea that R. marginatus can be effectively utilized for the management of one of the most destructive mealybug pests of cotton, P. solenopsis. Results from this study are important for the development of a knowledge-based management program for cotton agroecosystems affected by various mealybug pests.


Biocontrol Cotton Coccidohystrix insolita Maconellicoccus hirsutus Phenacoccus solenopsis 



The authors are grateful to MEF, New Delhi (ref. no.23-1/2008-RE) for their financial assistance, and to the management of the St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Palayamkottai, for providing the necessary laboratory facilities and support to complete this project.

Supplementary material

13355_2018_576_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 27 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Crop Protection Research CentreSt. Xavier’s CollegePalayamkottaiIndia
  2. 2.Mid-Florida Research and Education CenterUniversity of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural SciencesApopkaUSA
  3. 3.Indian River Research and Education CenterUniversity of FloridaFort PierceUSA
  4. 4.US Horticultural Research LaboratoryUSDA-ARSFort PierceUSA

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