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Chinese Journal of Biological Control ›› 2022, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (1): 140-148.DOI: 10.16409/j.cnki.2095-039x.2021.05.014

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The Functional Response of Menochilus sexmaculata to Megalurothrips usitatus

LI Pan, ZHU Jinxian, MO Xiaona, LIN Xingming, LIU Tianzhen, LI Jinhua, CAI Ducheng   

  1. Key Laboratory of Green Prevention and Control of Tropical Plant Diseases and Pests, Ministry of Education/College of Plant Protection, Hainan University, Haikou 570228, China
  • Received:2021-01-02 Online:2022-02-08 Published:2022-03-01

Abstract: The thrips Megalurothrips usitatus is a primary pest of leguminous plants, and the ladybeetle Menochilus sexmaculata is an important natural enemy in agroecosystem in southern China. To explore the predation and biocontrol potential of M. sexmaculata against M. usitatus, the predatory functional response, searching efficiency and predation preference were determined. The results showed that, in a certain range, the predation increased with the increase of prey density, indicating that the functional response of M. sexmaculata to M. usitatus fitted well with Holling Ⅱ and Holling Ⅲ. The predation was higher in adults than in larvae of M. sexmaculata; in the larvae, the predation increased with larval age. The searching efficiency of M. sexmaculata (including both adults and larvae) decreased with the increase of prey density. M. sexmaculata preferred the thrips larvae the most, with selection coefficient above 1, followed by pupae, and lasted by adults, with a selection coefficient below 1. Furthermore, interference of Aphis craccivora on the predation efficiency of M. sexmaculata against M. usitatus was assessed and it was found that the cooccurrence of A. craccivora and M. usitatus lead to a significant decrease of predation on the thrips. The present study shows that the predator M. sexmaculata is a promising natural enemy to control M. usitatus, while its potential may be reduced by the alternative preys existing in the same habitat.

Key words: Menochilus sexmaculata, Megalurothrips usitatus, predatory functional response, prey selection, intra-interference

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