Title

Diel activity pattern and predation rate of the generalist predator Dicyphus hesperus

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2003

Publication Title

Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata

Volume

107

Issue

2

First Page

149

Last Page

154

DOI

10.1046/j.1570-7458.2003.00050.x

Abstract

Abstract This study examined the diel activity pattern and the effect of diel activity pattern on predation rate and prey finding of Dicyphus hesperus Knight (Heteroptera: Miridae). To determine the diel activity pattern of D. hesperus, starved females were placed on tomato leaflets Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. (Solanaceae) under zero, low, or high light intensities at 02:00, 08:00, and 14:00 h, respectively, and the amount of time spent walking or resting during a 30-min interval was recorded. Predation rates of D. hesperus females on Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) egg patches were determined under either a L16:D8 (long day) or L8:D16 (short day) diel period. Egg patches were removed from D. hesperus females after either 8 or 16 h of dark or 16 or 8 h of light, and the number of eggs consumed was counted. Dicyphus hesperus females spent more time searching for prey at night than during the day. Females ate eggs at a higher rate during the night than during the day. Overall, D. hesperus females had higher predation rates when reared under a long day diel cycle compared with females reared under a short day diel cycle. More females reared at the L16:D8 diel cycle found the egg patch during the night than during the day. There was no difference in egg patch finding between night and day for females reared at L8:D16. Overall, L16:D8 reared females found more egg patches than females reared at L8:D16. Therefore, D. hesperus females are more active and find and consume prey at a higher rate at night than day.

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