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:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, ... security technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. ... to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate ... ... NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and benefiting from ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... --  EyeLock LLC , a leader of iris-based identity ... and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. ... iris image with a face image acquired in sequence ... th issued patent. "The issuance ... multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come to market ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Ovation Fertility continues ... for presentation at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the European Society of ... the world’s top thought leaders in reproductive medicine – are expected to attend ...
(Date:6/28/2017)... ... June 28, 2017 , ... Supplies of the critical medical isotope molybdenum-99 ... the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) 2017 annual meeting in Denver, ... used in 30 to 40 million nuclear medicine procedures worldwide every year. (1) ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Brain State Technologies, ... Kickstarter campaign on June 15th to fund production of the new B2v2 wearable ... original Kickstarter goal by more than 150% in a little over a week. ...
(Date:6/27/2017)... ... June 27, 2017 , ... Indiana-based ... GX-1 yeast production and fermentation process. The efficiencies created by the newest ... technologies, most notably the ethanol industry wherein individual production plants are planning to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: