Preimaginal development, mortality, aphid consumption rate, and size and weight upon reaching the adult stage of the aphidophagous coccinellids Hippodamia convergens Guerin-Meneville and Coccinella septempunctata L. collected from Karditsa, central Greece, were examined at four constant temperatures ( 14, 17, 20 and 23 degrees C) and L16: D8. The coccinellids fed on the tobacco aphid, Myzus persicae nicotianae Blackman. Egg, larval and pupal mortality was highest at 14 degrees C reaching 85.0, 73.8 and 29.4% in H. convergens and 49.3, 75.4 and 58.8% in C. septempunctata, respectively. Total preimaginal development ranged from 57.2 to 70.4 days at 14 degrees C, and to 16.9 and 22.1 days at 23 degrees C in H. convergens and C. septempunctata, respectively. Heavier and larger adults of H. convergens were obtained at 17 and 20 degrees C. In C. septempunctata temperature did not affect adult weight while the lowest size was observed at 14 and 17 degrees C. Day-degrees requirements for preimaginal development in H. corvengens were 212.9 above a developmental threshold of 11.0 degrees C. The corresponding values for C. septempunctata were 281.5 and 10.7 degrees C. In H. convergens total and daily aphid consumption ranged from 46.8 aphids at 14 degrees C to 85.0 aphids at 23 degrees C and from 1.5 aphids at 14 degrees C to 9.2 aphids at 23 degrees C, respectively. The corresponding values for C. septempunctata were 112.0 and 2.7 at 14 degrees C and 157.7 and 12.4 at 23 degrees C. The results show the high potential of both predators as biological control agents against the tobacco aphid. The knowledge obtained could be essential for their appropriate use and for the improvement of mass rearing systems.
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