Prey abundance and intraguild predation between Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Macrolophus pygmaeus (Hemiptera: Miridae)

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Abstract

Macrolophus pygmaeus Rambur (Hemiptera: Miridae) and Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) are two predatory insects commonly used as biological control agents. In order to determine the incidence with which both species attack and eat each other [Intraguild predation (IGP)], the direction and symmetry of the interaction between A. bipunctata and M. pygmaeus were characterized. In addition, whether the intensity of IGP between these two predators increased when the number of extraguild prey Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) decreased, was also determined. Unidirectional sensu stricto IGP between A. bipunctata and M. pygmaeus was recorded: when IGP occurred, A. bipunctata was always the IG predator that killed and ate M. pygmaeus, the IG prey. However, the intensity of IGP was a function of the abundance of the extraguild prey, A. pisum, since IGP increased when the number of extraguild prey decreased. These results are discussed in terms of theoretical models that predict stability and the outcome of using natural enemies to control pests.

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Trotta, V., Prieto, J. D., Fanti, P., & Battaglia, D. (2015). Prey abundance and intraguild predation between Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Macrolophus pygmaeus (Hemiptera: Miridae). European Journal of Entomology, 112(4), 862–865. https://doi.org/10.14411/eje.2015.080

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