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Influence of five host plants of Aphis gossypii Glover on some population parameters of Hippodamia variegata (Goeze)

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Abstract

The aphidophagous ladybird beetle, Hippodamia variegata (Goeze), is an important predator in many agricultural ecosystems. However, information on the influence of the prey’s host plant species on its life history characteristics is still absent in the literature. Therefore, five host plant species of Aphis gossypii Glover, viz. Cucumis sativus L., Cucurbita pepo var. medullosa L., Cucurbita moschata var. melonaeformis Poiret, Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis L. and Lagenaria siceraria var. gourda Standl., were selected to study the influence of the prey’s host plant species on the development, survival, reproduction and life table parameters of H. variegata in the laboratory at 25°C. The results showed that all of A. gossypii from five host plant species used were acceptable for the growth, development and reproduction of H. variegata. However, the suitability of aphids from various host plants was different for this ladybird beetle. The complete pre-imaginal development was longest (14.51 ± 0.17 days) when reared with aphids on C. melo var. cantalupensis and shortest (12.60 ± 0.11 days) on L. siceraria var. gourda. Total immature survival from egg to adult was highest (58.97%) on L. siceraria var. gourda and lowest (44.06%) on C. melo var. cantalupensis. Based on the intrinsic rate of increase as an index of suitability of prey host plant species on the population increase of H. variegata, the suitability in decreasing order was: L. siceraria var. gourda > C. moschata var. melonaeformis > C. pepo var. medullosa > C. melo var. cantalupensis > C. sativus. This study offered opportunities for better understanding the tritrophic interactions of the plant–aphid–predator relationship.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Héctor A. Cárcamo, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre for helpful comments on the manuscript. We are also grateful to Xiao-Dong Sun, Jun-Qi Yang and Jian-Xiu Hao for their assistance in laboratory experiments. This research was funded by Natural Science Foundation of Inner Mongolia.

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Correspondence to Bao-Ping Pang.

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Communicated by D. C. Weber.

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Wu, XH., Zhou, XR. & Pang, BP. Influence of five host plants of Aphis gossypii Glover on some population parameters of Hippodamia variegata (Goeze). J Pest Sci 83, 77–83 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-009-0272-y

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