Choice an no-choice tests were used to determine prey preference of third instar Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) for unparasitized diamondback larvae and diamondback larvae parasitized by Cotesia plutellae (Kurdj.)(Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Experiments were conducted with same-aged unparasitized and parasitized larvae. At twenty-four hours post-parasitism no preference for parasitized or unparasitized larvae was observed in choice and no-choice tests. Similar results were found in choice tests at seventy-two hours post-parasitism. However, in no choice tests at seventy-two hours post-parasitism greater numbers of parasitized larvae were consumed. Developmental duration of parasitized larvae increased. After seventy-two hours, parasitized larvae remained third instars; whereas, unparasitized larvae developed into fourth intars. The impact P. maculiventris has on C. plutellae populations and biological control of P. xylostella in brassica systems is discussed.
Species 1: Heteroptera Pentatomidae Podisus maculiventris (spined soldier bug)
Species 2: Hymenoptera Braconidae Cotesia plutellae
Species 3: Lepidoptera Plutellidae Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth)
Keywords: biological control
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