Skip to main content Accessibility help

Effects of prey resource fluctuation on predation attributes of two sympatric Coccinellidae (Coleoptera)

  • Desh Deepak Chaudhary (a1), Bhupendra Kumar (a1), Geetanjali Mishra (a1) and Omkar (a1)


Under natural conditions, prey resources may fluctuate considerably in space and time; and predators are continuously faced with challenges of resource availability and use. In this study, effects of fluctuations (scarce/optimal/abundant) in biomass of pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris); Hemiptera: Aphididae) during rearing and experimental conditions on certain predatory attributes (consumption rate/conversion, efficiency/growth rate) of two sympatric aphidophagous Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) were evaluated. Results revealed significant influence of rearing conditions on conversion efficiency and growth rate; and experimental conditions on all three predation attributes of Menochilus sexmaculatus (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Larvae/adults of M. sexmaculatus had similar consumption rates per rearing condition, but exhibited highest and lowest consumption rates when abruptly shifted to abundant and scarce prey experimental conditions. Further, scarce prey reared larvae/adults of M. sexmaculatus displayed highest conversion efficiency and growth rate on optimal/abundant prey experimental condition(s). However, all three predation attributes of larvae/adults of Propylea dissecta (Mulsant) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were influenced substantially by both the rearing and experimental conditions; and scarce prey reared larvae/adults exhibited highest predation attributes on optimal/abundant prey experimental condition(s). Moreover, predation attributes of M. sexmaculatus were higher than P. dissecta on the three experimental conditions. Therefore, this study suggests that M. sexmaculatus has a better compensatory ability to overcome prey resource fluctuation than P. dissecta.


Corresponding author

1 Corresponding author (e-mail:


Hide All

Subject editor: Hervé Colinet



Hide All
Agarwala, B.K., Yasuda, H., and Sato, S. 2008. Life history response of a predatory ladybird, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to food stress. Applied Entomology and Zoology, 43: 183189.
Atlihan, R. and Guldal, H. 2009. Prey density-dependent feeding activity and life history of Scymnus subvillosus . Phytoparasitica, 37: 3541.
Barros-Bellanda, H.C.H. and Zucoloto, F.S. 2002. Effects of intraspecific competition and food deprivation on the immature phase of Ascia monuste orseis (Lepidoptera, Pieridae). Iheringia Serie Zoologia, 92: 9398.
Behnazar, T. and Madadi, H. 2015. Functional response of different stages of Hippodamia variegata (Col: Coccinellidae) to Diuraphis noxia (Hemiptera: Aphididae) on two wheat cultivars. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 25: 11801191.
Bieber, C. and Ruf, T. 2005. Population dynamics in wild boar Sus scrofa: ecology, elasticity of growth rate, and implications for the management of pulsed resource consumers. Journal of Applied Ecology, 42: 12031213.
Bista, M. and Omkar., 2014. Consumption, developmental and reproductive attributes of two con-generic ladybird predators under variable prey supply. Biological Control, 74: 3644.
Chaudhary, D.D., Kumar, B., Mishra, G., and Omkar., 2015. Resource partitioning in a ladybird, Menochilus sexmaculatus: function of body size and prey density. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 105: 121128.
Dixon, A.F.G. 2000. Insect predator-prey dynamics: ladybird beetles and biological control, 1st edition. Cambridge University Press, London, United Kingdom.
Dixon, A.F.G. and Guo, Y. 1993. Egg and cluster size in ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae): the direct and indirect effects of aphid abundance. European Journal of Entomology, 90: 457463.
Dmitriew, C., Carroll, J., and Rowe, L. 2009. Effects of early growth conditions on body composition, allometry, and survival in the ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis . Canadian Journal of Zoology, 87: 175182.
Dmitriew, C. and Rowe, L. 2007. Effects of early resource limitation and compensatory growth on lifetime fitness in the ladybird beetles (Harmonia axyridis). Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20: 12981310.
Francis, F., Haubruge, E., Defrance, T., and Gaspar, C. 2000. Environmentally based maternal effect on reproduction of Adalia bipunctata: impact of aphid prey species. Mededelingen-Faculteit Landbouwkundige en Toegepaste Biologische Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent, 65: 303310.
Hiltunen, T. and Laakso, J. 2013. The relative importance of competition and predation in environment characterized by resource pulses – an experimental test with a microbial community. BMC Ecology, 13: 29.
Hodek, I. and Honek, A. 1996. Ecology of coccinellidae. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
Hodek, I., Van, Emden, H.F., and Honek, A. 2012. Ecology and behaviour of the ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae). John Wiley and Sons, West Sussex, United Kingdom.
Holt, R.D. 2008. Theoretical perspective on resource pulses. Ecology, 89: 671681.
Isikber, A.A. and Copland, M.J.W. 2001. Food consumption and utilization by larvae of two coccinellid predators, Scymnus levaillanti, and Cycloneda sanguinea, on cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii . BioControl, 46: 455467.
Ives, A.R., Kareiva, P., and Perry, R. 1993. Response of a predator to variation in prey density at three hierarchical scales: lady beetles feeding on aphids. Ecology, 74: 19291938.
Karsai, I. and Hunt, J.H. 2002. Food quantity affects traits of offspring in a paper wasp, Polistes metricus . Environmental Entomology, 31: 99106.
Keshavarz, M., Seiedy, M., and Allahyari, H. 2015. Preference of two populations of Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) for Aphis fabae and Aphis gossypii (Homoptera: Aphididae). European Journal of Entomology, 112: 560563.
Kӧhler, G., Brodhun, H.P., and Schäller, G. 1987. Ecological energetics of central European grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Oecologia, 74: 112121.
Kumar, B., Bista, M., Mishra, G., and Omkar., 2014a. Stage specific consumption and utilization of aphids, conspecific and heterospecific eggs by two species of Coccinella (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). European Journal of Entomology, 111: 363369.
Kumar, B., Mishra, G., and Omkar., 2014b. Functional response and predatory interactions within conspecific and heterospecific guilds of two congeneric species (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). European Journal of Entomology, 111: 257265.
Kumar, B., Pandey, G., Mishra, G., and Omkar., 2013. Predatory performance of aphidophagous ladybirds: a measure of prey suitability? International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 33: 120126.
Lee, J.H. and Kang, T.J. 2004. Functional response of Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to Aphis gossypii Glover (Homoptera: Aphididae) in the laboratory. Biological Control, 31: 306310.
Lucas, E., Demougeot, S., Vincent, C., and Coderre, D. 2004. Predation upon the oblique-banded leafroller, Choristoneura rosaceana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), by two aphidophagous coccinellids (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the presence and absence of aphids. European Journal of Entomology, 101: 3741.
Maurice, N. and Ashwani, K. 2011. Effect of quantity and consumption of food on body weight and development of two species of ladybird beetles. Annals of Plant Protection Science, 19: 5962.
Mishra, G., Kumar, B., Shahid, M., Singh, D., and Omkar., 2011. Evaluation of four co-occurring ladybirds for use as biocontrol agents of the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Homoptera: Aphididae). Biocontrol Science and Technology, 21: 991997.
Mishra, G., Omkar, Kumar, B., and Pandey, G. 2012. Stage and age-specific predation in four aphidophagous ladybird beetles. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 22: 463476.
Moreau, J., Berney, B., and Thiery, D. 2006. Assessing larval food quality for phytophagous insects: are the facts as simple as they appear? Functional Ecology, 20: 592600.
Omkar, Mishra, G., Kumar, B., Singh, N., and Pandey, G. 2014. Risks associated with tandem release of large and small ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in heterospecific aphidophagous guilds. The Canadian Entomologist, 146: 5266.
Omkar, Mishra, G., Srivastava, S., Gupta, A.K., and Singh, S.K. 2005. Reproductive performance of four aphidophagous ladybirds on cowpea aphid, Aphis craccivora Koch. Journal of Applied Entomology, 129: 217220.
Omkar, Sahu, J., and Kumar, G. 2010. Effect of prey quantity in a ladybird beetle, Anegleis cardoni (Weise) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 30: 4856.
Ostfeld, R.S. and Keesing, F. 2000. The function of biodiversity in the ecology of vector-borne zoonotic diseases. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 78: 20612078.
Phoofolo, M.W., Giles, K.L., and Elliott, N.C. 2007. Quantitative evaluation of suitability of the greenbug, Schizaphis graminum, and the bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi, as prey for Hippodamia convergens (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Biological Control, 41: 2532.
Rakhshan, R. and Ahmad, M.E. 2015. Predatory efficiency of Cheilomenes sexmaculata (Fabricius) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) against Aphis craccivora Koch on various host plants of family Fabaceae. European Scientific Journal, 11: 154161.
Ramdev, Y.P. and Rao, P.J. 1979. Consumption and utilization of castor by semilooper Achaea janata . Indian Journal of Entomology, 41: 260266.
Rhamahalinghan, M. 1987. Feeding behaviour of Coccinella septempunctata L. var. confusa Wiedemann (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in relation to temperature – I. Pre-oviposition period. Journal Entomological Research, 11: 178183.
Rosenzweig, M.L. 1995. Species diversity in space and time. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Schellhorn, N.A. and Andow, D.A. 1999b. Cannibalism and interspecific predation: role of oviposition behavior. Ecological Applications, 9: 418428.
Schüder, I., Hommes, M., and Larink, O. 2004. The influence of temperature and food supply on the development of Adalia bipunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). European Journal of Entomology, 101: 379384.
Seagraves, M.P. 2009. Lady beetle oviposition behavior in response to the trophic environment. Biological Control, 51: 313322.
Siddiqui, A., Omkar, Paul, S.C., and Mishra, G. 2015. Predatory responses of selected lines of developmental variants of ladybird, Propylea dissecta (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in relation to increasing prey and predator densities. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 25(9): 9921010.
Synder, W.E., Joseph, S.B., Preziosi, R.F., and Moore, A.J. 2000. Nutritional benefits of cannibalism for the ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) when quality is poor. Environmental Entomology, 29: 11731179.
Wagner, J.D., Glover, M.D., Moseley, J.B., and Moore, A.J. 1999. Heritability and fitness consequences of cannibalism in Harmonia axyridis . Evolutionary Ecology Research, 1: 375388.
Waldbauer, G.P. 1968. The consumption and utilization of food by insects. Advances in Insect Physiology, 5: 229288.
Yang, L.H. 2004. Periodical cicadas as resource pulses in North American forests. Science, 306: 15651567.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Chaudhary supplementary material
Table S1

 PDF (113 KB)
113 KB

Effects of prey resource fluctuation on predation attributes of two sympatric Coccinellidae (Coleoptera)

  • Desh Deepak Chaudhary (a1), Bhupendra Kumar (a1), Geetanjali Mishra (a1) and Omkar (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.