Ecology of Coccinellidae

Volume 54 of the series Series Entomologica pp 143-238

Food Relationships

  • I. Hodek

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Food relationships of Coccinellidae have always been actively studied, largely because of the economic impact of most coccinellid species. Unfortunately the prey-predator relationships have mostly been studied by observing what the coccinellids happen to be eating, sometimes only by noting occurrence together of predator and prey on the same plant, etc. The reliability of the lists of data accumulated in this way (Schilder and Schilder 1928, Balduf 1935, Thompson 1943, Fulmek 1957, Börner and Heinze 1957, Kaddou 1960, Kurir 1964, Vaundell and Storch 1972) has already been questioned by Thompson (1951): “The various species of ladybirds do not actually feed or at least feed habitually on all the various host insects with which they are associated in the records.” Thompson warned further that: “The gradual accumulation of such records in the literature finally gives a picture which may be completely inaccurate in so far as the real behaviour and food habits of the species are concerned.” However, some authors still prefer to base the food relationships of coccinellids on observations.