Dinesh, A.S., & Venkatesha, M.G. 2011 Prey consumption by the mealybug predator Spalgis epius on pink hibiscus mealybug (Maconellicoccus hirsutus).. Phytoparasitica 39(1): 11-17

Notes: DOI: 10.1007/s12600-010-0130-8 The pink hibiscus mealybug Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green) (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is a major pest of economically important crops. The apefly Spalgis epius (Westwood) (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) is a potential predator of various species of mealybugs. Studies of its preying potential and preference for prey stages on M. hirsutus are incomplete. An investigation was undertaken to determine the daily prey consumption and preference for prey stages by different larval instars of S. epius reared on M. hirsutus in the laboratory. During the 8day larval development period with four larval instars of S. epius, the daily prey consumption increased from the first to the seventh day and decreased on the eighth day prior to the prepupal stage. Generally, there was a significant difference in the prey consumption on different days. The 1st to 4th instar larvae of S. epius consumed, respectively, a mean of 181.3, 679.1, 1770.4 and 4333.0 eggs or 19.1, 67.7, 153.0 and 639.0 nymphs or 2.72, 6.26, 13.8 and 32.1 adults of M. hirsutus. When an S. epius larva was fed on M. hirsutus eggs, nymphs and adults separately, it consumed a mean of 6952.6 eggs, 878.8 nymphs or 53.9 adults during its entire development. A single larva of S. epius consumed 2358.3 eggs, 151.2 nymphs and 34.3 adults of M. hirsutus during its entire development. DOI 10.1007/s12600-010-0130-8