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Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) and Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Homoptera: Aphididae) as prey for two species of Chrysopidae

Dean, D.E., Schuster, D.J.
Environmental entomology 1995 v.24 no.6 pp. 1562-1568
Chrysoperla rufilabris, Bemisia tabaci, diet, Bemisia argentifolii, Macrosiphum euphorbiae, predators, biological development, feeding preferences
The suitability of the whitefly Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring and the potato aphid, Macrosiphum euphorbiae (Thomas), as prey for 2 indigenous species of Chrysopidae, Chrysoperla rufilabris (Burmeister) and Ceraeochrysa cubana (Hagen), was examined. The developmental time and percentage mortality were compared for each prey separately and mixed. Prey preference was also tested for each predator using 2 preference models as well as a paired t-test. The developmental period for C. rufilabris was shortest on a mixed diet of aphids and whiteflies, suggesting that the nutritional quality of each prey alone was inferior to that of the combined prey. Development of C. cubana was slowest and mortality was greatest on the aphid diet. Both species of chrysopids were able to complete development on immature life stages of the whitefly alone. Both species consumed greater numbers of whiteflies than aphids; however, the consumption of aphids increased with each new instar. This trend indicates that prey selection was strongly influenced by increases in body size. The results of the paired t-test and probability model, coupled with the developmental responses in feeding trials, lead us to conclude that C. cubana exhibited a preference beyond that which was associated with body size for B. argentifolii over M. euphorbiae, whereas C. rufilabris demonstrated little or no such preference.