Biological traits of the predatory mirid Macrolophus praeclarus, a candidate biocontrol agent for the Neotropical region
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AuthorPérez-Hedo, Meritxell; Gallego, Carolina; Roda, Amy; Kostyk, Barry; Triana, Mónica; Alférez, Fernando; Stansly, Philip A.; Qureshi, Jawwad A.; Urbaneja, Alberto
Cita bibliográficaPérez-Hedo, M., Gallego, C., Roda, A., Kostyk, B., Triana, M., Alférez, F. et al. (2021). Biological traits of the predatory mirid Macrolophus praeclarus, a candidate biocontrol agent for the Neotropical region. Bulletin of Entomological Research, Published on-line (15 February 2021), 1-9.
The predatory mirid Macrolophus praeclarus is widely distributed throughout the Americas, and is reported to prey upon several horticultural pest species. However, little is known about its biology, thermal requirements, crop odour preferences, phytophagy, and capability to induce defensive responses in plants. When five temperatures studied (20, 25, 30, 33 and 35°C) were tested and Ephestia kuehniella was used as prey, the developmental time from egg to adult on tomato, was longest at 20°C (56.3 d) and shortest at 33°C (22.7 d). The ability of nymphs to develop to adults decreased as the temperature increased, with the highest number of nymphs reaching the adult stage at 20°C (78.0%) and lowest at 35°C (0%). The lower and upper developmental thresholds were estimated at 11.2° and 35.3°C, respectively. The maximum developmental rate occurred at 31.7°C and the thermal constant was 454.0 ± 8.1 degree days. The highest predation rate of E. kuehniella eggs was obtained at 30°C. In Y-tube olfactory choice tests, M. praeclarus selected tomato, sweet pepper and eggplant odours more frequently than no plant control treatment. Macrolophus praeclarus feeding did not damage tomato plants compared to another zoophytophagous mirid, Nesidiocoris tenuis, which caused necrotic rings. The phytophagy of M. praeclarus induced defensive responses in tomato plants through the upregulation of the jasmonic acid metabolic pathway. The implications of the findings for using M. praeclarus in tomato biological control programmes in the Americas are discussed.