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Biological characteristics of the mirids Macrolophus costalis and Macrolophus pygmaeus preying on the tobacco form of Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

J.T. Margaritopoulos
Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Faculty of Crop and Animal Production, University of Thessaly, Fytokou st., 38 446, Nea Ionia, Magnesia, Greece
J.A. Tsitsipis*
Laboratory of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology, Faculty of Crop and Animal Production, University of Thessaly, Fytokou st., 38 446, Nea Ionia, Magnesia, Greece
D.C. Perdikis
Laboratory of Agricultural Zoology and Entomology, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece
*Fax: +30 0421 93286 E-mail:


Biological and population parameters of the predatory bugs Macrolophus costalis Fieber and Macrolophus pygmaeus Rambur preying on the tobacco aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer) were examined. Tobacco was used as host plant and all experiments were carried out at 23°C and L16:D8. In M. costalis, the developmental time for eggs and the total duration of nymphal instars was 13.1 and 22.2 days and in M. pygmaeus 13.0 and 20.2 days, respectively. Both species completed their nymphal development feeding only on plant juices although they required significantly more time to attain adulthood than when feeding on prey. The longevity of M. costalis females and the preoviposition period were 49.9 and 5.6 days and those of M. pygmaeus were 50.3 and 6.3 days, respectively. Adult males showed a higher longevity than females in both species. The intrinsic rate of increase and the mean total number of eggs laid were 0.0644 and 121 in M. costalis and 0.0615 and 104 in M. pygmaeus, respectively. Mean total aphid consumption by nymphs of M. costalis was 61 aphids, about twice that of M. pygmaeus (37 aphids). Total aphid consumption by a male and female pair of M. costalis and M. pygmaeus until the death of the female was 244 and 285 aphids, respectively. The results of the study are discussed in relation to the impact of the two predatory bugs on tobacco aphid populations.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2003

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