Influence of host plant and prey availability on developmental time and surviorship of Nesidiocoris tenius (Het.: Miridae)
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Nesidiocoris tenuis is a zoophytophagous mirid with biological control potential. However, the relative importance of predation and herbivory for survival and development has not been clear. The bugs survived longer on tomato than on eggplant and especially sweet pepper, but could not complete development in the absence of supplemental food. Tomato also proved to be a more favorable substrate than pepper when eggs of Ephestia kuehniella were added as a food supplement. These results demonstrated that animal prey is a required dietary component for N. tenuis, and also that survival time on a strict plant diet is host plant dependent. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.