Reproduction and demography of an Aphidophagous ladybird, Hippodamia variegata on six aphid species
We tested six aphid species, viz. Aphis gossypii, Aphis craccivora, Brevicoryne brassicae, Lipaphis erysimi, Myzus persicae and Uroleucon compositae as essential foods needed for the reproduction and demography of an aphidophagous ladybird, Hippodamia variegata. Females were highly fecund (1210.8 ± 55.31 eggs) with prolonged oviposition period (56.30 ± 2.36 days) and laying most viable eggs (92.91 ± 0.81%) when fed on A. gossypii (reared on Lagenaria vulgaris) with the highest net reproductive rate (449.45 ± 20.53 females / female). Aphis craccivora (raised on Dolichos lablab) supported optimal value for intrinsic rate of increase (0.183 ± 0.003) with the shortest generation time (32.40 ± 0.557 days). Other diets didn’t show improved performance but quantified as essential foods. Brassica hosted B. brassicae and L. erysimi were less suitable but not the rejected prey. Age-specific fecundity of female H. variegata was triangular in function with peak oviposition during her early reproductive age when fed on either A. gossypii, A. craccivora, U. compositae or M. persicae, while peak skewed towards later reproductive age when fed on B. brassicae or L. erysimi. Fecundity was positively correlated with egg-viability and oviposition period. We used jackknife technique to estimate and compare the demographic parameters within the groups. High values of intrinsic and finite rates of increase on A. gossypii and A. craccivora affirm their suitability for augmentative rearing of H. variegata. We conclude that both A. gossypii and A. craccivora on above respective host-plants are highly suitable aphid-diets for mass-multiplication of H. variegata.
KeywordsHippodamia variegata Coccinellidae Aphis gossypii Demography Aphids Prey
We thank Dr. Barbara Castleton, ESL Instructor, South Seattle College, Seattle, Washington, USA for improving the language of the manuscript. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for critically going through the manuscript and providing fruitful suggestions. AP is thankful to Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for the financial assistance (EMR/2016/006296).
Compliance with ethical standards
The authors declare that they have prepared the manuscript by the compliance with ethical standards. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript. The manuscript has been prepared by the consent of all the authors.
Conflict of interests
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.
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