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Utilization of Quercetin as an Oviposition Stimulant by Lab-Cultured <i>Coleomegilla</i> <i>maculata</i> in the Presence of Conspecifics and a Tissue Substrate

Eric W. Riddick, Zhixin Wu, Fred J. Eller, Mark A. Berhow
Insects 2018 v.9 no.3 pp. -
Coleomegilla maculata, bioassays, biological control, cages, egg masses, egg production, females, mass rearing, oviposition sites, paper, predators, quercetin, reproductive performance
Background: The discovery of natural products to improve the reproductive performance of mass-reared predators is an important aim for successful augmentative biological control. We tested the hypothesis that quercetin (a bioflavonoid) stimulates oviposition by the ladybird beetle Coleomegillamaculata in the presence of conspecifics and a tissue substrate. Methods: We conducted bioassays in solitary cages (housing one female) and communal cages (housing 10 females) to estimate daily oviposition site preferences, egg production in response to quercetin in the presence or absence of a tissue paper substrate, and female &ldquo;resting&rdquo; positions. Results: Females preferentially oviposited within 1&ndash;2 cm of quercetin powder, held in a tiny dish, at the base of cages. When given a choice, females oviposited in the dish with quercetin over a tissue paper substrate. In one of two experiments, they produced more egg clutches, regardless of oviposition site, when the quercetin and tissue were in close juxtaposition. Females &ldquo;rested&rdquo; on the tissue in the presence or absence of quercetin. Conclusion: This study provides evidence that quercetin can be utilized as an oviposition stimulant by C. maculata in a rearing system. Future research should determine if quercetin stimulates oviposition in other ladybird beetle species.