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The Diet of some Predatory Arthropods in Cereal Crops

K. D. Sunderland
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Aug., 1975), pp. 507-515
DOI: 10.2307/2402171
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2402171
Page Count: 9
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The Diet of some Predatory Arthropods in Cereal Crops
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Abstract

(1) The gut contents of 1206 animals belonging to twenty-six species collected from pitfalls in 1973 were examined under a binocular microscope using x 100 magnification. (2) Fifteen taxa, which were mostly Staphylinidae, had no solid remains in the gut and were probably fluid-feeders. (3) Notiophilus biguttatus, Loricera pilicornis and Lamycetes fulvicornis fed primarily on Collembola, Tachyporus spp. on fungi, Agonum dorsale on aphids, Forficula auricularia on plant material and Bembidion lampros on Diptera and Collembola. Feronia melanaria, Harpalus rufipes and Nebria brevicollis contained a wide range of food and there was considerable overlap between species, but Coleoptera adults and larvae featured prominently in the diet of all three. Aphids were eaten by seven species and formed an appreciable part of the diet of Agonum dorsale and Forficula auricularia. (4) The list of aphid feeders was extended to twelve species by the examination of a further 1051 animals collected by daytime search of the ground zone of a spring barley crop. The importance of Agonum dorsale as an aphid feeder was confirmed and Risophilus atricapillus L., Calathus fuscipes Goeze, Tachyporus chrysomelinus, Amara familiaris Duftschmid and Nebria brevicollis were also shown to have fed on aphids. (5) For Bembidion lampros and Tachyporus spp. the percentage of animals containing food was higher for non-gravid females than for males or gravid females, whilst in Feronia melanaria and Agonum dorsale both gravid and non-gravid females gave a higher percentage than males. It is suggested that the efficiency of these species as potential agents of natural control could be influenced by the sex ratio and their time of breeding in relation to the timing of critical periods in the cycle of pest abundance.

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