BioControl (2013) 58, 807-814

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Gabriel Zilnik and James R. Hagler (2013)
An immunological approach to distinguish arthropod viviphagy from necrophagy
BioControl 58 (6), 807-814
Abstract: Scavenging activity of predators inhabiting agroecosystems has not been thoroughly investigated. Understanding the prevalence of necrophagy in predators is paramount to determining the effectiveness of biological control agents. A molecular predator gut content assay is described that can differentiate necrophagy from viviphagy. Cadaver sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and green lacewing, Chrysoperla rufilabris Burmeister (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) serving as targeted prey items were marked with rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) protein and live prey items were marked with chicken IgG, respectively. The marked prey items were fed to convergent lady beetles, Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and soft-winged flower beetles, Collops vittatus (Say) (Coleoptera: Melyridae). The frequency of detection of the protein-marked prey items in the gut of the predaceous beetles was assessed at 0, 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h after feeding using a rabbit-IgG-specific or chicken-IgG-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Each IgG-specific ELISA detected the presence of the marker proteins in the gut of 90 % of the predators up to 12 h after prey consumption. A laboratory feeding study was also conducted to determine the propensity that each predator species engages in viviphagy and necrophagy. The laboratory feeding observations revealed that C. vittatus prefer carrion prey items. Finally, the laboratory observations of necrophagy were confirmed in a field study where C. vittatus was observed, directly and indirectly, feeding on H. convergens carcasses. The methodologies described here are useful for future studies on various aspects of insect predation.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
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Database assignments for author(s): James R. Hagler

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
general biology - morphology - evolution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.
Bemisia tabaci
Chrysoperla rufilabris (predator)
Hippodamia convergens (predator) Bemisia tabaci
Collops vittatus (predator) Bemisia tabaci