, Volume 59, Issue 6, pp 729–738 | Cite as

Prey range of the predatory ladybird Cryptolaemus montrouzieri

  • Sara Maes
  • Jean-Claude Grégoire
  • Patrick De Clercq


The prey range of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri was studied in the laboratory to investigate whether the mealybug destroyer can contribute to the suppression of other pest insects besides mealybugs and to assess its potential impact on non-mealybug populations as part of an environmental risk assessment for its use in biological control. Prey tested in these experiments were: tobacco aphid Myzus persicae nicotianae (Sulzer)(Hemiptera: Aphididae), pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris)(Hemiptera: Aphididae), tobacco whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius)(Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), southern green stinkbug Nezara viridula (L.)(Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) eggs, western flower thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande)(Thysanoptera: Thripidae), two-spotted ladybird Adalia bipunctata (L.)(Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) eggs and eggs of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella L. (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). Larval survival was high to moderate when C. montrouzieri was provided with hemipteran prey and poor to zero when the ladybirds were provided with non-hemipteran prey. Females reared on M. persicae and A. pisum produced similar numbers of eggs as their counterparts fed the citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Risso)(Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), but fecundity was significantly lower when the ladybirds were reared on B. tabaci nymphs or on A. bipunctata eggs. Prey species that were found to be less suitable for immature development of C. montrouzieri could still be an adequate food source for reproduction and survival of adult ladybirds. For example, only 8 % of the predator larvae reached the adult stage when provided with A. bipunctata eggs, but females that had developed on eggs of the Mediterranean flour moth Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and that were supplied with A. bipunctata eggs from adult emergence on, were only 35 % less fecund than females provided with mealybugs in their adult life. The results are discussed in relation to the development of a suitable methodology for prey/host range testing in the framework of an environmental risk assessment for arthropod natural enemies.


Biological control Environmental risk assessment Prey range Non-native species Predator Coleoptera Coccinellidae 



We would like to thank three anonymous reviewers and handling editor Arne Janssen for their constructive comments. This research was supported by BOF (UGent).


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Maes
    • 1
  • Jean-Claude Grégoire
    • 2
  • Patrick De Clercq
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Agrozoology, Department of Crop ProtectionGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Biological Control and Spatial Ecology LabULBBrusselsBelgium

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