Biology and bionomics in Scotland of Anthocoris gallarum‐ulmi

ArticleinEcological Entomology 9(1):55 - 67 · March 2008with 28 Reads
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1. Observations were made on the biology of Anthocoris gallarumulmi De Geer (Hemiptera - Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) in West Central Scotland from 1973 until 1975. The life cycle was intimately linked with those of its principal prey species Schizoneura ulmi and S.patchae, leaf roll-gall aphids, and elm, their primary host (Ulmus sp.). 2. Overwintered adults emerged in late April/May and could be found on a number of early flowering tree species, before congregating on elm in late May/June. This population was univoltine and exhibited obligatory female reproductive diapause. 3. Overwintered females emerged already mated but the subsequent pre-oviposition period was 25 days and oviposition period 27 days. Ova were deposited only in close association with galls of S.ulmi and Spatchae, and behavioural variations were shown between sites. Fecundity was c. 16 ova per female. 4. The incubation period was c. 8 days with the subsequent period of larval development 38–53 days, during which time the diet was almost exclusively either S.ulmi or S.patchae. Intergall migration was characteristic of post second instar larvae, which resulted in the concentration of fifth instar larvae and adults in a limited number of galls. It was during this period of local high population density that mating occurred. 5. Adults left elm within 14 days of imaginal ecdysis and thereafter, until overwintering, were recorded in only very low numbers from a range of tree, shrub and herb species. 6. Overwintering adults selected as hibernacula the bark of four tree species but principally Acer pseudoplatanus and Quercus robor. Females required a period of at least 75 days of cold ‘shock’ to terminate reproductive diapause. 7. Mortality among males surviving to spring emergence was 67%.

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    Seasonal development and ecology of Anthocoridae are reviewed. Most of 500–600 species in the family are predacious or zoo-phytophagous, and a few other species are exclusively phytophagous or myrmecophilous. Some anthocorids are (and many others can potentially be) used as biological control agents in the Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Overwintering at the adult stage is typical of anthocorid bugs from the temperate zone (especially for the subfamily Anthocorinae). The known exceptions are the embryonic diapause in Tetraphleps abdulghanii, Temnostethus pusillus, and T. gracilis (Anthocorinae) and continuous development through all seasons (a homodynamic seasonal cycle) in Lyctocoris campestris and some species of Xylocoris (Lyctocorinae). In a number of species, especially in the genera Anthocoris and Orius, copulation occurs before overwintering and only females survive winter, a feature very unusual for Heteroptera and insects in general. Many anthocorid species are multivoltine in the temperate zone, producing several (up to 8 in some cases) generations per year. The number of generations typically decreases to 1 per year towards the north. Seasonal development of multivoltine species is chiefly controlled by daylength and temperature. All multivoltine anthocorids of the temperate zone studied to date have photoperiodic response of a long-day type: the females reproduce under the long-day conditions, but enter diapause under the short-day conditions. Towards the south, the photoperiodic response gradually becomes weaker: some populations do not enter diapause even under the short-day conditions, especially at higher temperatures. Termination of diapause is poorly understood in anthocorids, but a number of species require low-temperature treatment for a few weeks prior to the start of oviposition. Alary and color polymorphism are rare in the family, and they have never been shown to be seasonal or environmentally controlled. Pronounced seasonal migrations and aggregation behavior also have never been reported in Anthocoridae. Summer diapause appears to be very unusual for the family, having been reported only in Tetraphleps abdulghanii. The seasonal change of host plants, known in some populations of Anthocoris nemorum and A. nemoralis, is also a seasonal adaptation unusual for Heteroptera. Seasonality of tropical and subtropical species is poorly studied, but anthocorids developing without winter diapause are considered promising agents for the biological control of arthropod pests. Further studies of ecophysiology of Anthocoridae will optimize application and mass rearing of these predators in IPM programs.
  • Article
    Laboratory studies on the suitability of some aphid species for food of the predaceous flowerbug Anthocoris gallarum ulmi (DeG.) (Het., Anthocoridae) In order to initiate release of beneficial insects such as the predatory (= predaceous living) flowerbug Anthocoris gallarum-ulmi, in biological control strategies, it is important that a successful mass rearing is maintained. Feeding tests involving bugs and various aphid species such as the green peach aphid, Mycus persicae, the pea aphid, Acyrtosiphon pisum and the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae, were conducted under laboratory conditions (20–25 °C). All three aphid species were readily accepted by all stages of the predator. Larval development of bugs reared on the food of M. persicae and Ac. pisum was approximately 15 days with freshly emerged adults weighing between 1.0 and 1.6 mg. Females were in all cases heavier than their opposite sex partners. Females of peach and pea aphid origin laid on average 57 eggs. Larvae fed only the food of Aphis fabae showed a prolonged developement time averaging 25 days. Furthermore larval mortality (77%) on this food was highest for all tested prey species, and the average weight of adult bugs was half that noted for experimental animals reared on the two other aphid species. Unlike Anthocoris nemorum, laboratory rearing of A. gallarum-ulmi is easier; the latter exercises no obligatory reproductive diapause. This bug proves therefore to be a potential enemy in the biological control of aphids. Um im Rahmen der biologischen Bekämpfung evtl. auch die räuberische Blumenwanze Anthocoris gallarum-ulmi einsetzen zu können, muß zuvor das Problem der Massenzucht dieses Predators gelöst werden. Zu diesem Zweck wurden Versuche zur Aufzucht der Wanze durchgeführt, wobei als Nahrung die Blattläuse Mycus persicae, Acyrtosiphon pisum und Aphis fabae dienten. Unter Laborbe-dingungen (20–25 °C) wurden alle 3 Blattlausarten von allen Freßstadien der Wanze als Nahrung akzeptiert. Die Larvenentwicklung der Wanze bei Darbietung von M. persicae und Ac. pisum als Nahrung dauerte ca. 15 Tage. Die daraus hervorgehenden Adulten wogen, frisch geschlüpft, zwischen 1,0 und 1,6 mg, wobei Weibchen stets schwerer waren als Männchen. Weibliche Wanzen, die mit Ac. pisum bzw. M. persicae ernährt wurden, legten i. M. 55 bzw. 72 Eier ab. Dagegen zeigten Wanzenlarven, die mit Aphis fabae gefüttert wurden, mit i. M. 25 Tagen eine verlängerte Entwick-lungszeit. Die Mortalitätsquote der Wanzenlarven war mit 77% bei dieser Nahrung die höchste der 3 Ernährungsarten, und das mittlere Gewicht der Adulten betrug nur etwa halb so viel wie bei Verwendung der beiden anderen Blattlausarten als Nahrung. Im Vergleich zu Anthocoris nemorum ist die Laborzucht von A. gallarum-ulmi leichter, weil letztere keine obligatorische Reproduktions-Diapause durchmacht. Diese Wanzenart eignet sich daher prinzipiell als ein Mittel zur biologischen Bekämpfung von Blattläusen.
  • Article
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