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Host-plant switching promotes the population growth of Apolygus lucorum: implications for laboratory rearing

  • H.-S. Pan (a1) (a2), B. Liu (a2) and Y.-H. Lu (a2)


The mirid bug Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is a major pest on cotton, fruit trees and other crops in China. A. lucorum adults often switch host plants in the agro-ecosystem, and such host-plant switching may promote more rapid population growth of A. lucorum. Here, we examined the population fitness of A. lucorum on different combinations of two plant foods [fresh maize kernels (Zea mays) and green bean pods (Phaseolus vulgaris)] in the laboratory when reared either individually or in groups. Our results suggested that, compared with A. lucorum nymphs reared on green bean alone, the survival rate, developmental rate, and adult weight significantly increased when they were fed fresh maize kernels for both rearing methods. Both two-plant combinations of foods (i.e., maize as nymphal food then green bean as adult food, and green bean as nymphal food then maize as adult food) generally prolonged adult longevity, improved female fecundity, and higher egg hatching rate compared with maize or green bean as food for both nymphs and adults. The combination of nymphs with maize and adults with green bean showed the highest population growth rate for both individual and group rearing of mirid bugs. Host food switching greatly promoted the population growth of A. lucorum, and suggests a new diet for laboratory rearing of A. lucorum.


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