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Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control

Insect predator–prey dynamics
Much of our understanding about insect predator–prey dynamics derives
from studies on insect parasitoids. But do true predators such as ladybird
beetles really operate in a similar way and how does this affect their use
in biological control? The extensive literature on ladybirds as biocontrol
agents shows that their size and rate of development is very dependent
on the nature of their prey. This volume explores the basic biology of
ladybirds, their association with their prey and its effect on development
rate and body size. Optimal foraging theory, field observations and
laboratory experiments are used to illustrate how ladybird larvae
maximize their rate of energy intake, and ladybird adults their fitness.
The interdependence of these life-history parameters is then used to
develop a simple predator–prey model, which with an analysis of the
literature highlights the specific attributes of potentially successful
biocontrol agents for all those interested in predator–prey dynamics.
a.f.g.dixon is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Biological
Sciences at the University of East Anglia. He has written over 200 papers
on aphids and their natural enemies in scientific journals, and has
written or edited nine other books. In 1992, he was awarded the Gregor
Mendel Gold Medal by the Czech Academy of Science.
© Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
052101770X - Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control
A. F. G. Dixon
More information
Insect predator–prey dynamics
Ladybird beetles and
biological control
a.f.g. dixon
University of East Anglia
© Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
052101770X - Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control
A. F. G. Dixon
More information
Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo
Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 2RU, UK
Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
Information on this title:
© Cambridge University Press 2000
This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception
and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements,
no reproduction of any part may take place without
the written permission of Cambridge University Press.
First published 2000
This digitally printed first paperback version 2005
A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data
Dixon, A. F. G. (Anthony Frederick George)
Insect predator–prey dynamics : ladybird beetles and biological control /
A. F. G. Dixon.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. ).
ISBN 0 521 62203 4
1. Ladybugs. 2. Predation (Biology) 3. Insect pests–Biological control. I. Title.
QL596.C65 D58 2000
595.76´9 99-045440
ISBN-13 978-0-521-62203-5 hardback
ISBN-10 0-521-62203-4 hardback
ISBN-13 978-0-521-01770-1 paperback
ISBN-10 0-521-01770-X paperback
© Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
052101770X - Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control
A. F. G. Dixon
More information
Preface ix
1 Introduction 1
2 Basic biology and structure 6
Introduction 6
Life cycle 8
Morphology 10
Mouthparts 12
Alimentary canal 14
Legs 14
Development 15
Survival 17
Reproduction 18
Fecundity and longevity 18
Effect of food supply on egg and cluster size 21
Interspecific relationships 23
Overwintering 27
Defence 29
3 Body size 36
Introduction 36
Intraspecific plasticity in size 36
Sex and size 42
Sexual size dimorphism 44
Protandry 46
Gonadal constraint 50
Fecundity advantage 52
Time and energy constraint 52
Body size distribution 55
Theory 55
Empirical data 57
© Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
052101770X - Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control
A. F. G. Dixon
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Prey of ladybirds 58
What determines the shape of the size diversity curves? 64
4 Slow–fast continuum in life history parameters 67
Introduction 67
Speed of movement 68
Developmental time and metabolic rate 69
Fecundity and longevity 74
Trade-off 76
5 Foraging behaviour 82
Introduction 82
Functional response 82
Prey recognition 83
Relative risk as a determinant of diet breadth 84
Prey specificity 88
Switching 93
Adult foraging behaviour 95
Location of prey 97
Patch quality 102
Egg distribution 108
Larval foraging behaviour 109
Location of prey 109
Survival 124
Ladybird abundance 126
6 Cannibalism 130
Introduction 130
Theory 130
Cannibalism by adults 133
Cannibalism by larvae 134
Fitness 135
Currency 137
Model 138
Empirical data 140
Avoidance of cannibalism 142
Eggs 142
Pupae 146
Cannibalism as a means of harvesting prey – the icebox
hypothesis 147
7 Theory of predator–prey interactions 151
Introduction 151
© Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
052101770X - Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control
A. F. G. Dixon
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Parasitoids 151
Predators 151
Theory 152
Nicholson & Bailey 155
Optimal foraging approach 160
Minimalism – generation time ratios 165
8 Intraguild predation 173
Introduction 173
Guild structure 173
Predator–predator interactions 175
Additive/non-additive effects 175
Predator facilitation 179
Top predators 179
Cost of intraguild predation 183
9 Biological control 190
Introduction 190
Conflicts of interest 192
Theory 193
Biological control and conservation 196
Biological control agents 197
Ladybirds and biological control 199
Attributes of successful biological control agents 200
Augmentative biological control 211
Cultural control 212
Integrated pest management 214
Is biological control evolutionarily stable? 216
10 Epilogue 218
11 References 220
Taxonomic index 253
Subject index 255
Contents vii
© Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
052101770X - Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control
A. F. G. Dixon
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Ladybird beetles are familiar and popular insects and therefore need no
introducing. The objective of this book is to give university students and
research workers a better understanding of predation by insects than is to
be found in most current ecological texts.
As stated in the Introduction the foundations of this book were
built upon the enthusiasm for and understanding of ladybirds of my col-
leagues and students. In addition Jean-Louis Hemptinne kindly read and
commented on the whole manuscript, and Pavel Kindlmann, on Chapter
7. Other people too have helped in the preparation of the book. I am espe-
cially grateful to CSIRO Entomology and Veronica Brancatini for supply-
ing, with permission to use, the photograph of Rodolia cardinalis that is on
the back cover, and to CAB International and Roger Booth for permission
to reproduce the habitus drawing of Hyperaspis pantherina in Chapter 9.
I also wish to express special thanks to Diane Alden for preparing the
figures and to Karen Harris for typing some of the manuscript.
I dedicate this book to June.
Tony Dixon
© Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
052101770X - Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics: Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control
A. F. G. Dixon
More information
... Nutritional status of the prey is critical for predator development and biocontrol potential (Dixon, 2000;Hodek and Honêk, 1996). Prey body structures, offensive and defensive behaviour, and aggressiveness can affect predator foraging behaviour (Uiterwaal et al., 2017). ...
Pest management strategies relying on biocontrol agents may be altered by climate change because temperature regulates biological rates from individuals to populations. We investigated predation and development of Harmonia axyridis foraging on Acyrthosiphon pisum at four different temperatures (15, 20, 25, and 30 °C). Age-stage, two-sex life table analysis of the predator was conducted. Computer projections based on bootstrap percentile confidence intervals were used for assessment of population growth and predation parameters. H. axyridis development and predation varied across temperature. Development was much slower at 15 °C than at warmer temperatures. Pre-adult stage mean duration was 41.25 d at 15 °C, but this decreased to 28.67, 18.35, and 13.23 d at 20, 25, and 30 °C, respectively. The intrinsic rate of increase was 0.0805 d−1 at 15 °C, but this increased to 0.1009, 0.1324, 0.1813 d−1 at 20, 25, and 30 °C, respectively. The mean generation time (T) was 71.96 d at 15 °C, which decreased to 54.68, 42.64 and 29.96 d at 20, 25, and 30 °C, respectively. The highest intrinsic rate of increase (r) and finite rate of increase (λ) were obtained at 30 °C, while the highest fecundity occurred at 15 °C with 743.68 eggs/female. The net predation rates (C0) were 4445.28, 4299.30, 3602.18, and 2624.20 aphids at 15, 20, 25, and 30 °C, respectively. Population and predation projections were proportional to temperature. These results are useful for modelling the population response of H. axyridis to climate change and tailoring IPM strategies to altered climates.
... D. coccinellae на самках паразитирует чаще, чем на самцах [Geoghegan et al., 1997;Davis et al., 2006] и чаще на молодых особях, чем на перезимовавших имаго [Majerus et al., 2000a]. Возможные причины, позволяющие объяснить предпочтительность выбора самок божьих коровок паразитоидом, следующие: 1) самки кокцинеллид несколько крупнее и массивнее самцов, что обеспечивает личинку паразитоида большим количеством питательных веществ [Barron, Wilson, 1998]; 2) на протяжении репродуктивного периода самки питаются активнее самцов [Hodek, 1996;Dixon, 2000]. Самка D. coccinellae откладывает яйцо в имаго жука-хозяина, если имаго по каким-либо причинам недоступны, то откладка яйца осуществляется в личинку или куколку. ...
В книге описаны биологические особенности азиатской божьей коровки Harmonia axyridis и ее распространение по четырем континентам за последние 35 лет. Инвазия этого вида имеет ряд отрицательных последствий как для местной энтомофауны, так и для человека, с чем связано большое уделяемое H. axyridis внимание биологов. Азиатская божья коровка стала модельным объектом для изучения механизмов и последствий инвазий видов на новые территории. В книге представлены результаты многолетних исследований авторов и дан обзор мировой литературы. В первой главе охарактеризована изменчивость H. axyridis. Вторая и третья главы посвящены описанию нативных и инвазивных популяций H. axyridis. В этих главах представлены исторические данные об этапах расширения ареала вида. В главах 4 и 5 подробно охарактеризованы симбиотические бактерии, паразитоиды и паразиты H. axyridis. Книга рассчитана на биологов, изучающих инвазии чужеродных видов, энтомологов, генетиков.
... Nas visitas à parcela, era observável a maior ocorrência da espécie nas áreas mais baixas, principalmente em gramíneas. Fora os fatores climáticos, os coccinelídeos são dependentes da qualidade e quantidade do alimento (DIXON, 2001). Em estudos envolvendo o levantamento de coccinelídeos e suas presas, é possível verificar a íntima relação com a flutuação populacional das joaninhas e de suas presas. ...
Full-text available
Perspectivas e Tendências nas Ciências Florestais: uma visão interdisciplinar para a Amazônia foi organizado em 11 capítulos, cujos autores e coautores são referências nas temáticas abordadas. Os leitores vão encontrar aqui o que há de mais atual nas Ciências Florestais, o que torna a presente obra uma excelente fonte de conhecimento e de consulta para o entendimento das questões mais representativas dessa área. Outro diferencial desse livro é o viés interdisciplinar que permeia os textos dos capítulos, o que permite aprofundar as abordagens tratadas e assim ampliar o nível de complexidade dos problemas investigados.
... As a result, the rates and population dynamics of spiders are strongly influenced by prey resource fluctuations, since fluctuations in prey resources significantly affects their growth and development (Michalko et al. 2019). Wheat is a very important cereal crop of tropical countries, and the most common prey resource observed in wheat agro-ecosystems is that of aphid pests characterised by their bust and boom populations (Dixon 2000;Hodek et al. 2012). They are soft-bodied, sap sucking polyphagous insect pests. ...
Present study was designed to assess the predation attributes of the hunting (Oxyopes javanus and Pardosa sumatrana) and web-weaving (Neoscona theisi and Tetragnatha javana) spiders on the wingless and winged stages of the economically important wheat aphid (Sitobion avenae) pests under varying prey quantity conditions. The experiments were carried out in two parts. First part included optimization of the experimental prey conditions (scarce/ optimal/ abundant) per spider species. The second part assessed the consumption rate, conversion efficiency and growth rate of each of the four spider species under fluctuating experimental prey conditions. Results revealed that: (1) irrespective of the spider species, predation attributes (viz. consumption rates, conversion efficiencies and growth rates) were highest on scarce prey and lowest on abundant prey; (2) amongst the four spider species, larger spiders (i.e. N. theisi and O. javanus) had higher prey consumption and utilization efficiencies over the smaller ones (T. javana and P. sumatrana); and (3) all species of spiders utilized higher biomass of wingless as compared to winged morphs under optimal and abundant conditions but displayed no such significant differences in consumption patterns under scarce conditions. The present results therefore reveal that the four studied spider species exhibit compensatory feeding under prey scarce conditions. However, larger species are more efficient in overcoming scarce prey conditions than the smaller species. Since spiders have enormous potential as biological control agents the results would be of significance in the management of wheat aphids.
... These aliments increase energy and assist in migration, providing survival in periods of prey scarcity and improving reproductive capacity. However, the amount and the quality of food are very important since they directly affect the biological aspects of H. axyridis (Evans and Dixon, 2000). When the ingested food is low or of poor quality, the development time usually increases, and the reproductive rates, i.e., oviposition, fecundity, and fertility, decrease (Sighinolfi et al., 2008;Castro-Guedes et al., 2016). ...
Full-text available
The multicolored Asian lady beetle ( Harmonia axyridis , H. axyridis , Coleoptera, and Coccinellidae) is an effective biocontrol agent against agricultural pests. Previous studies have suggested that amount, type, and the quality of food can directly affect the biological aspects of H. axyridis. In this study, we investigated the influence of the food sources ( Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama, and artificial diets) on the gut microbiota diversity and the biology, reproductive variables, and population growth indicators of H. axyridis. Three kinds of diets were considered in this study: (1) HY: the adult of A. pisum Harris (HY group); (2) HM: the adult of D. citri Kuwayama (HM group); (3) HR: artificial diets prepared by blending a portion of fresh homogenized pork liver (15 g), honey (3 g), distilled water (35 ml) (HR group). We found that gut microbiota composition and diversity and the biological parameters differed when H. axyridis was fed with different diets. The abundance of Enterobacteriaceae was the highest in the HM group, followed by HY group, and was the lowest in the HR group. The abundance of Staphylococcaceae was highest in the HR group. Among the gut fungi, Davidiellaceae and Wallemiaceae were the highest and lowest in the HY group; Incertae_sedis were the major gut fungi in the HR group. Meanwhile, the changes of biological parameters may be correlated with the changes of Streptococcaceae abundance, Micrococcaceae abundance, Staphylococcaceae abundance, and Enterobacteriaceae abundance in responds to diet changes. To sum up, these data suggest that different diets can influence the changes in adult H. axyridis gut microbiota, consequently affecting the biological parameters.
Full-text available
The Chilocorini lady beetles Tenuisvalvae notata (Mulsant) and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant are important biological control agents being able to share their habitat and compete for their preferred prey, mealybugs. Whereas T. notata is native to South America, C. montrouzieri is an Australian species introduced in Brazil in a biological control program of mealybugs. This work investigated the cannibalism and intraguild predation between these species in the absence of prey. To test for intraguild predation, one individual larva (instars 1–4) from each species was confined for 24 h with another larva of the same instar or the next instar, in a total of 10 combinations. In addition, we measured predation of T. notata adults upon eggs, larvae, pre‐pupae and pupa of C. montrouzieri, and vice versa. Cannibalism within the species was also tested across adults, larvae and eggs. Results showed asymmetric interactions in favour of C. montrouzieri, which acted as intraguild predator more than 80% of the time when paired with larvae of T. notata either of the same or different instar. In addition, C. montrouzieri adults preyed more upon larvae and eggs of T. notata than the contrary. There was no intraguild predation upon pre‐pupae and pupae. Cannibalism was high upon eggs and first instar larvae of T. notata (89.5% and 65%) and C. montrouzieri (100% and 55%), respectively. Therefore, the exotic C. montrouzieri outcompeted the native T. notata and could become a threat to this endemic species in areas of simultaneous occurrence and under prey scarcity. Thus, the interactions between these lady beetles could affect the success of biological control of mealybugs.
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