Factors stimulating host seeking behaviour of Eocanthecona furcellata (Wolff), a pentatomid predator, were investigated by using Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) as prey. Faeces of S. litura larvae elicited a host seeking response by the predators. The active material is present in the prey mandibular gland secretions, digestive tract and body surface, which when placed on a filter paper evoked feeding attempts. Predators responded intensely towards the prey artificial diet too. Prey body washings with hexane and acetone also stimulated feeding behaviour.
Physical stimuli such as host shape or movement had no influence on acceptability of the prey to the predator. Larval size correlated with aggressive behaviour which limited predation rather than releasing stimulus for the host acceptance behaviour. Pharate instar stage of the prey was never accepted by E. furcellata. But pupal, egg and adult stages of S. litura stimulated predators to certain extent.
Neither extirpation of antennae nor blinding the vision prevented the bugs from locating the prey. However, excision of rostral tip decreased the prey capture efficiency. It is suggested that the rostral tip contains chemotactile sensillae which are responsible for the prey detection.