Navigation Links
Lady beetle diet influences its effectiveness as biocontrol agent
Date:1/11/2013

This press release is available in Spanish.

By examining what lady beetles eat, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists are learning more about the movement of these beneficial insects in farm fieldsand whether they'll actively feed on crop pests.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist Jonathan Lundgren at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Brookings, S.D., and former ARS entomologist Michael Seagraves were part of a team of ARS and university scientists that examined how a lady beetle's diet alters its feeding patterns and physiology. ARS is USDA's chief intramural scientific research agency.

Lady beetles are deployed as biological controls of insect pests like aphids and Colorado potato beetles. Understanding the feeding behavior of these important beneficial insects will help researchers find ways to most effectively use the lady beetles as biocontrol agents.

In laboratory feeding tests, the researchers found that a lady beetle species called Coleomegilla maculata consumes two to three times more plant tissue after being fed a prey-only diet than after being fed a mixed diet of prey and plant tissue. This suggests that plant material is providing some key nutrients lacking in prey-only diets. It is important to recognize that non-prey foods contain different nutrients than insect prey, and that beetles that are fed mixed diets are often healthier that those fed only on prey, according to Lundgren.

In a follow-up study, Lundgren and his colleagues found that sugar consumption by lady beetles allows females to survive and produce more eggs than those denied this sweet treat. Foods like sugar and pollen are important components of their diets, and it is thought that lady beetles rely heavily on sugar resources in the field. In this study, Lundgren and Seagraves applied sugar sprays to soybeans and quantified the frequency of sugar feeding by analyzing the gut contents of common agronomic lady beetles in South Dakota, Maryland and Kentucky.

According to Seagraves, all the tested lady beetles regularly consumed sugarlike nectar in soybean fields, even when it wasn't applied as a supplement. However, the sugar-sprayed plots had more lady beetles than the untreated plots. This research makes the case that sugar-feeding is very important for lady beetle populations in cropland and suggests a possible way to help maintain beneficial species in agroecosystems.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Durham
Sharon.durham@ars.usda.gov
301-504-1611
United States Department of Agriculture - Research, Education and Economics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Dung beetle diversity affects Florida livestock producers
2. Surprising pine beetle breeding habits help explain increasing tree damage, says CU study
3. Plants mimic scent of pollinating beetles
4. Bark beetle management and ecology in southern pine forests
5. First-ever release of endangered burying beetles in Missouri
6. Spanish researcher releases a video showing a beetle from the inside
7. Beetle-fungus disease threatens crops and landscape trees in Southern California
8. Forensics ferret out fire beetle secret
9. Beetle-infested pine trees contribute more to air pollution and haze in forests
10. New report examines effects of trees killed by bark beetles on wildfire
11. Predatory beetles eavesdrop on ants chemical conversations to find best egg-laying sites
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/13/2017)... Calif. , April 13, 2017 UBM,s ... York will feature emerging and evolving technology ... Both Innovation Summits will run alongside the expo portion ... speaker sessions, panels and demonstrations focused on trending topics ... largest advanced design and manufacturing event will take place ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 No two ... researchers at the New York University Tandon School ... Engineering have found that partial similarities between prints ... used in mobile phones and other electronic devices ... The vulnerability lies in the fact that ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, has ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal to ... period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet cooking ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... International research firm Parks Associates announced today that ... TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in Scottsdale, ... security market and how smart safety and security products impact the competitive ... Parks Associates: Smart Home Devices: Main ... "The residential security market has experienced continued ...
(Date:10/9/2017)...  BioTech Holdings announced today identification and patenting ... stem cell therapy prevents limb loss in animal ... that treatment with ProCell resulted in more than ... to standard bone marrow stem cell administration.  Interestingly, ... of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses ... EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: