24. Food preference and comparative feeding efficacy of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) in population management of invasive Cotton mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis (Tinsley)

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Bhugro Mal, Hakim Ali Sahito, Abdul Hafeez Mastoi, Shoib Rahim, Attaullah Khan Pathan, Wali Muhammad Mangrio Tasneem Kousar


The knowledge of preference and feeding efficacy of a predator plays an important role in visualizing its role in pest management programs. The present research study was conducted to have a deep insight into the predatory potential and preference of Chrysoperla carnea on different instars of P. solenopsis, which was performed in the Bio-control Laboratory at PARC-SARC, Karachi. The cotton mealybugs were collected from the okra crop and further multiplied on potatoes sprouts at (26±2ºC and 65±5% RH) for feeding the larvae of C. carnea and all larval stages expressed response when they fed over the different instars of P. solenopsis. Predatory performance increased with the advancement in the growth of the larval stage as the maximum performance was expressed by the third-stage larva of C. carnea. The successive instars (1st to 3rd) consumed per day on an average (50.89±0.51), (92±0.33), and (144.67±0.66) on first instars of P. solenopsis. Each larval stage took three days to enter into the next phase. A single larva right hatching from an egg to prepupal stage consumed an average of 866.67 first instars of cotton mealybug. All larval instars preferred first instars of P. solenopsis and exhibited less preference towards the second and third stages. The first stage larva did not at all consume the third instar of P. solenopsis. The findings of the present study suggested that; C. carnea is a very successful predator of P. solenopsis, easy to rear in the laboratory, and can be exploited for the biological control of cotton mealybug under field conditions.

Keywords: Biological control; Chrysoperla carnea; Cotton mealybug; Feeding efficacy; IPM


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