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The effects of host plant on the coccinellid functional response: Is the conifer specialist Aphidecta obliterata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) better adapted to spruce than the generalist Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)?

Timms, J. E., Oliver, T. H., Straw, N. A. and Leather, S. R. (2008) The effects of host plant on the coccinellid functional response: Is the conifer specialist Aphidecta obliterata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) better adapted to spruce than the generalist Adalia bipunctata (L.) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)? Biological Control, 47 (3). pp. 273-281. ISSN 1049-9644

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.biocontrol.2008.08.009

Abstract/Summary

Female Aphidecta obliterata consumed an average of 26.6 ± 5.8 Elatobium abietinum and males consumed an average of 19.9 ± 3.2 Elatobium abietinum, but there was no significant difference in the number consumed between the sexes. In Petri dish trials, the larval stages of A. obliterata and all stages of Adalia bipunctata appeared to exhibit a Type II response to prey density, although A. obliterata adults showed a more linear response to prey density. There was no significant difference between the functional responses of the 3rd instars of the two coccinellid species, but there was a significant difference between the responses shown by the 1st instars, with A. obliterata larvae consuming more than those of A. bipunctata, especially at low densities, suggesting that the two species respond differently to an increase in prey density. At low prey densities, adults and 4th instars of both species exhibited a similar response to an increase in prey density but at higher densities the 4th instars and adult stages of A. bipunctata showed higher attack rates when compared with the same stages of A. obliterata. Adult and 4th instar A. obliterata exhibited Type II functional responses on spruce sections. The 4th instar A. obliterata larva appeared to be a more effective predator than the adult of the species, and was more effective when compared with adult A. bipunctata at lower prey densities but A. bipunctata adults appeared to be a more effective predator at higher prey densities. The host plant affected the rate of consumption by adult A. obliterata as adults on Sitka spruce sections consumed significantly higher numbers of aphids than their counterparts on Norway spruce. This was most noticeable at densities above 16 aphids. The distributions of the two coccinellid species in the olfactometer were significantly affected by the presence of host plant material. Aphidecta obliterata adults were found in significantly higher numbers in the Sitka spruce chambers than the control chambers (those without plant material). Adalia bipunctata adults were found in significantly lower numbers in the Norway spruce chamber than the control chamber. Although A. bipunctata has a higher level of voracity than A. obliterata, the latter is more adapted to the spruce environment and the boom and bust population dynamics of E. abietinum.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:84187
Publisher:Elsevier

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