Arthropod-Plant Interactions (2019) 13, 819-834
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Foothold matters: attachment on plant surfaces promotes the vitality of omnivorous mirid bugs Dicyphus errans
Arthropod-Plant Interactions 13 (6), 819-834
Abstract: Omnivorous predatory mirid bugs Dicyphus errans Wolff and closely related species, belonging to the subfamily Bryocorinae (Heteroptera, Miridae), prefer to live on pubescent plant species, where other entomophagous insects are hampered. Previous studies demonstrated a positive relationship between plant trichome diameter and length with attachment forces of D. errans walking on the plant surface. These force data are now pooled with results obtained in life history and feeding assays. Thus, intriguing relationships in mirid bug–plant associations are elucidated. Foothold matters in the highly complex life of omnivorous D. errans. Similar to previously measured traction forces, corresponding safety factors (attachment force/body weight) increase significantly with trichome diameter and length. Fecundity, hatching rate, and juvenile development relate significantly and positively with increased safety factor. Higher safety factors, i.e., stronger attachment on the plant, correspond to a higher consumption rate. The present study confirms a crucial role of insect–plant interactions at the plant surface–insect integument interface. Insect settlement on plants depends on insect attachment ability (i.e., foothold), which is influenced by plant substrates. Hence, the impact of plant surface structures on mirid bug's, or even wider, on insect attachment ability and interfacial interactions should further be carefully considered when evaluating insect life history, prey consumption, and multitrophic plant–insect associations in the context of evolution, ecology, and sustainable pest management.
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Database assignments for author(s): Dagmar Voigt
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:
|Dicyphus errans (predator)|