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Lima bean-lady beetle interactions: hooked trichomes affect survival of Stethorus punctillum larvae

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We tested the hypothesis that Lima bean Phaseolus lunatus L. (Henderson cultivar) trichome density affects the survival of the acariphagous lady beetle Stethorus punctillum Weise. When isolated throughout larval development, 10% or less of S. punctillum larvae reared on two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch on small (rather than large) P. lunatus leaves survived until pupation. Although other factors might have contributed to larval mortality, we demonstrated that survival rate was related to trichome density (i.e., number of hooked trichomes per cm on the underside of leaves). Trichome density was greatest on the underside of small leaves and least on large leaves, indicating that survival rate increased as trichome density decreased. Hooked trichomes impaled S. punctillum larvae more often at the apex of the abdomen than at any other body part. Hooked trichomes also trapped S. punctillum adults, but they always managed to free themselves. This study highlights the negative effect of Lima bean hooked trichomes on a predacious lady beetle that attacks the two-spotted spider mite.
Riddick, Eric W. , Wu, Zhixin
Includes references
BioControl 2011 Feb., v. 56, no. 1
Springer Netherlands
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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