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Brazilian Journal of Biology

Print version ISSN 1519-6984On-line version ISSN 1678-4375

Braz. J. Biol. vol.64 no.2 São Carlos May 2004

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-69842004000200008 

Development and reproduction of Podisus distinctus (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) fed on larva of Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae)

 

Desenvolvimento de Podisus distinctus (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) alimentado com lagartas de Bombyx mori (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae)

 

 

Lacerda, M. C.; Ferreira, A. M. R. M.; Zanuncio, T. V.; Zanuncio, J. C.; Bernardino, A. S.; Espindula, M. C.

Departamento de Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, CEP 36571-000, Viçosa, MG, Brazil

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

Biological control has been reducing the use of chemical products against insect pests, specially predatory Pentatomidae. Species of this group can present high variations in their life cycle as a result of their diet. Thus, the objective of this research was to study nymph development and reproduction of Podisus distinctus (Stäl, 1860) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) fed on Bombyx mori L., 1758 (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) larvae (T1), compared to those fed on Tenebrio molitor L., 1758 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) (T2) and Musca domestica L., 1758 (Diptera: Muscidae) larvae (T3) at a temperature of 25 ± 0.5ºC, relative humidity of 70 ± 2%, and photophase of 12 h. Predators fed on B. mori showed duration of the nymph phase (18.68 ± 1.02) similar to those fed on T. molitor (18.32 ± 1.49). Pre-oviposition and oviposition periods and number of egg masses, besides eggs and nymphs per female, were higher with B. mori (5.83 ± 2.02; 15.00 ± 7.40; 8.42 ± 1.84; 296.69 ± 154.75; and 228.55 ± 141.04, respectively) while longevity of males and females of P. distinctus was 25.76 ± 16.15 and 35.00 ± 16.15 days with T. molitor, and 20.57 ± 13.60 and 23.46 ± 12.35 days with B. mori, respectively.

Key words: Insecta, predator, alternative prey, Podisus distinctus.


RESUMO

O controle biológico vem reduzindo o uso de produtos químicos no combate a insetos pragas, com destaque para pentatomídeos predadores, os quais apresentam variações em seu ciclo de vida, principalmente em função do regime alimentar a que são submetidos. Assim, o objetivo deste trabalho foi estudar o desenvolvimento ninfal e a produtividade de Podisus distinctus (Stäl, 1860) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) alimentado com larvas de Bombyx mori L., 1758 (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) (T1), comparado com larvas de Tenebrio molitor L., 1758 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) (T2) ou Musca domestica L., 1758 (Diptera: Muscidae) (T3) à temperatura de 25 ± 0,5ºC, umidade relativa de 70 ± 2% e fotoperíodo de 12 h. P. distinctus, alimentado com B. mori, apresentou semelhante duração da fase ninfal (18,68 ± 1,02) em relação à alimentação com T. molitor (18,32 ± 1,49). Os períodos de pré-oviposição e oviposição e os números de ovos postos e de ninfas por fêmea foram maiores com B. mori (5,83 ± 2,02; 15,00 ± 7,40; 8,42 ± 1,84; 296,69 ± 154,75; e 228,55 ± 141,04, respectivamente), enquanto a longevidade de fêmeas e machos foi de 25,76 ± 16,15 e 35,00 ± 16,15 dias com T. molitor e de 20,57 ± 13,60 e 23,46 ± 12,35 dias com B. mori, respectivamente.

Palavras-chave: Insecta, predador, presa alternativa, Podisus distinctus.


 

 

INTRODUCTION

Biological control can reduce pest populations and maintain environmental balance without utilization or with lower insecticide use, which can improve life quality in different ecosystems (Symondson et al., 2002).

Pentatomidae predators feed on a large variety of insect pests (Schaeffer & Panizzi, 2000) and are cited in Brazil as important natural enemies of eucalyptus- defoliating caterpillars (Zanuncio et al., 1994). Release of these predators against insect pests makes it necessary to study their biology and mass rearing so as to produce the highest possible number of individuals (Zanuncio et al., 2001). For this reason, these natural enemies have been reared with alternative preys such as Tenebrio molitor L., 1758 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), Musca domestica L., 1758 (Diptera: Muscidae), or Bombyx mori L., 1758 (Lepidoptera: Bombycidae) (Beserra et al., 1995; Zanuncio et al., 1996/1997; Molina-Rugama et al., 1997; Nascimento et al., 1997; Jusselino Filho et al., 2001), in addition to artificial diets (Zanuncio et al., 1996; Saavedra et al., 1997; Coracini et al., 1999; De Clercq et al., 1998; and Rojas et al., 2000).

Reproduction of Podisus distinctus (Stal, 1860) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) has been studied with T. molitor and M. domestica (Zanuncio et al., 1998); its nymph development, with combinations of Coelomera lanio (Dalman) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), B. mori, M. domestica, or T. molitor (Zanuncio et al., 1997); and its nymph weight, with M. domestica and T. molitor (Oliveira et al., 1999).

It is important to use alternative prey to replace natural ones with high nymph viability, and to produce heavier predator females for successful establishment under field conditions. For this reason, the objective of this research was to evaluate biological aspects of the predator P. distinctus fed larvae of B. mori, compared to those fed on larvae of T. molitor or M. domestica.

 

MATERIAL AND METHODS

This research was developed in the Laboratory of Biological Control of the Centro de Biotecnologia Aplicada à Agropecuária (BIOAGRO) of the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) in the Municipality of Viçosa, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Research was done with a temperature of 25 ± 0.5ºC, relative humidity of 70 ± 2%, and photophase of 12 h.

Egg masses of P. distinctus were obtained from a mass-rearing facility of the Laboratory of Biological Control where this predator was fed larva or pupa of T. molitor. Egg masses were kept in Petri dishes (9.0 x 1.2 cm) with a cotton wad soaked with distilled water until nymph emergence. Nymphs of P. distinctus were individualized in Petri dishes of similar size at the beginning of the second instar until emergence of adults, when they were sexed by the external appearance of their reproductive organs and conditioned in 500 ml plastic pots. Females of P. distinctus were mated three days after emergence with males of similar age, and pairs of this predator were maintained in these pots until their death. Nymphs and adults of this predator received one of the alternative preys in treatments T1(larvae of B. mori); T2 (pupae of T. molitor); and T3 (larvae or pupae of M. domestica). These treatments had seven, seven, and five replications, each one represented by two 500 ml pots with a pair of P. distinctus for treatments T1, T2, and T3, respectively.

Survival and duration of each instar, numbers of egg masses, of eggs and nymphs per female, periods of pre-oviposition, oviposition, and pos-oviposition, besides longevity and weight of adults of P. distinctus 24 h after their emergence, were daily observed. Results were submitted to a variance analysis according to a complete randomized design and means were compared with the test of Duncan at 5% probability level.

 

RESULTS

Duration of second instar of P. distinctus was shorter in T2 (3.46 ± 0.55) and similar in T1 (3.90 ± 0,37) and T3 (3.85 ± 0.55), while third instar was longer in T2 (3.83 ± 0.80) and T1 (3.65 ± 0.66 ) than in T3 (3.40 ± 0.73). Duration of fourth and fifth instars was longer in T3 and similar in T1 and T2, while duration of the nymph phase of P. distinctus was shorter in T2 (18.32 ± 1.49) and T1 (18.68 ± 1.02) than in T3 (19.03 ± 1.40 days) (Table 1).

 

 

Survival of P. distinctus was 100% in the first instar when this predator did not feed on prey, while it was 91.66 ± 27.87%, 90.00 ± 30.25%, and 85.00 ± 36.00 in treatments T1, T2, and T3 during second instar with similar results between treatments. Survival during third instar was higher in T1 (96.36 ± 18.89) than in T2 (87.03 ± 33.90) and T3 (80.39 ± 40.09), while this period was similar between treatments in the fourth and fifth instars (Table 2).

 

 

Pre-oviposition, oviposition, and post-oviposition of P. distinctus females was 5.83 ± 2.02, 15.00 ± 7.40, and 7.82 ± 6.31 days for those fed B. mori, while these values were 10.57 ± 3.43, 11.28 ± 9.40, and 3.64 ± 3.42 days and 9.00 ± 3.20, 7.60 ± 1.00, and 5.50 ± 5.80 days for predators which received T. molitor or M. domestica, respectively (Table 3).

 

 

Higher number of egg masses (8.42 ± 1.84), eggs per female (296.69 ± 154.75) (Figure 3), and nymphs per female (228.55 ± 141.04) of P. distinctus were obtained with B. mori than with T. molitor (4.85 ± 1.88, 141.64 ± 98.09, and 80.64 ± 60.70) or M. domestica (3.80 ± 1.93, 93.20 ± 24.90, and 34.70 ± 18.70), respectively (Table 3).

Longevity of P. distinctus males was 23.46 ± 12.04, 35.00 ± 16.57, and 19.20 ± 8.35 days with B. mori, T. molitor, and M. domestica, respectively with higher values in T2, while longevity of females of this predator was 20.57 ± 14.86 days in T1 and 20.30 ± 9.33 days in T3, with higher values in T2 (25.76 ± 13.60 days) (Fig. 1).

 

 

With all prey, famales of P. distinctus were heavier than males with weight of 99.59 ± 12.35, 86.54 ± 8.90, and 73.80 ± 7.10 mg, and 76.37 ± 16.08, 70.00 ± 8.20 and 64.80 ± 10.96 mg for males in T1, T2, and T3, respectively (Fig. 1).

 

DISCUSSION

Duration of the nymph phase of P. distinctus was longer with B. mori than with T. molitor and M. domestica, and that of fourth instar was also longer with this prey, which can be related to its poor quality. This shows that P. distinctus needs a longer nymph period to develop its reproductive organs to develop when fed poor-quality prey such as M. domestica (Zanuncio et al., 1998). Moreover, predatory Asopinae (Heteroptera) fed with better-quality food are heavier with higher reproduction, fecundity, and number of eggs and nymphs (Evans, 1982; Zanuncio et al., 1996). Other species of this group showed similar necessities because the nymph period of P. distinctus was also shorter when this predator was fed B. mori. This agrees with results for the predators Podisus sculptus (Distant) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) (Nascimento et al., 1997) and P. nigrispinus, with longer duration of the nymph phase with M. domestica (Zanuncio et al., 1996/1997).

P. distinctus showed higher nymph survival in T1 (83.33 ± 27.87%) than in T2 (71.67 ± 45.44%) and T3 (60.00 ± 49.60%). This survival was higher with T. molitor and lower with M. domestica than that reported by Zanuncio et al. (1998) for this predator. This can be due to an adaptation process of P. distinctus after several generations in the laboratory bacause these authors developed the research in these conditions.

The pre-oviposition period of P. distinctus was shorter in treatment T1 which shows that B. mori is a better quality prey; it also indicates that females of predators can more rapidly obtain nutrients for egg production with this prey than with T. molitor (Jusselino Filho et al., 2001). Moreover, oviposition and post-oviposition periods were longer when this predator was fed B. mori, further evidencing the quality of this prey, as does higher reproductive capacity of P. distinctus, in a manner similar to that reported for Podisus maculiventris (Say, 1831) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) (O'Neil & Wiedenmann, 1990).

P. distinctus showed a higher number of egg masses, eggs, and nymphs per female with B. mori, while results for M. domestica and T. molitor were similar to those of Zanuncio et al. (1998). This shows again the better quality of B. mori for different species of predatory Pentatomidae because Podisus nigrolimbatus (= Brontocoris tabidus Signoret, 1852) (Zanuncio et al., 1993), Podisus sculptus Distant, 1889 (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) (Nascimento et al., 1997), and Podisus connexivus Bergrot, 1891 (= Podisus nigrispinus Dallas, 1851) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) (Zanuncio et al., 1996/1997), also performed better with B. mori than with T. molitor or M. domestica.

Longevity of P. distinctus females was similar with B. mori, T. molitor, and M. domestica, suggesting that this generalist predator can maintain its longevity with different prey, and agreeing with reports of Zanuncio et al. (1997), but with reduced egg and nymph production which can limit the establishment. of P. distinctus in the field.

B. mori should be used when a higher number of individuals specially in mass-rearing programs of P. distinctus is necessary because this predator showed a higher number of eggs and nymphs and better nymph viability with this prey. However, the high costs of rearing B. mori, including the necessity of maintaining a mulberry crop and more specialized work, as well as coping with deficiency of leaves of this plant between crops, restricts the use of this prey to only when necessary in order to maintain a colony of this predator in the laboratory (Zanuncio et al., 1996/1997; Zanuncio et al., 1998; Oliveira et al., 1999). Although it is possible to maintain P. distinctus with M. domestica larva, the use of this prey is not recommended due to consequent low egg and nymph production, as well as survival of this predator.

Acknowledgments — To the Brazilian agencies Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG).

 

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Correspondence to
José Cola Zanuncio
Departamento de Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa
CEP 36571-000, Viçosa, MG, Brazil
e-mail: zanuncio@ufv.br

Received November 25, 2002 - Accepted March 25, 2003 - Distributed May 31, 2004

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