Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (3): 399-403, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.050

Leucopis annulipes larvae (Diptera: Chamaemyiidae) use a furtive predation strategy within aphid colonies

Bruno FRÉCHETTE, François LAROUCHE, Éric LUCAS
Université du Québec L Montréal (UQAM), Groupe de Recherche en Écologie Comportementale et Animale (GRECA), Département de Sciences Biologiques, C.P. 8888, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montréal, Québec, H3C 3P8 Canada;

A laboratory experiment was conducted to determine whether the predation strategy of larvae of the aphidophagous silver fly Leucopis annulipes Zetterstedt (Diptera: Chamaemyiidae) is furtive, as are larvae of the aphidophagous midge Aphidoletes aphidimyza Rondani (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), or active like aphidophagous ladybird beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). The impact of L. annulipes larvae on pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), colony disturbance was evaluated and compared with that of the furtive predator A. aphidimyza and the active-searching ladybird beetle Harmonia axyridis Pallas. Results indicate that aphids showed significantly fewer defensive acts (dropping, walking away, wriggling) in the presence of L. annulipes larvae than of ladybird beetle larvae. Furthermore, the impact of L. annulipes larvae on aphid colony disturbance was similar to that of A. aphidimyza and to a control treatment without predators. These results clearly indicate that L. annulipes larvae use a furtive predation strategy.

Keywords: Predation strategy, active-searching predator, furtive predator, Chamaemyiidae, Leucopis annulipes, Cecidomyiidae, Aphidoletes aphidimyza, Coccinellidae, Harmonia axyridis, Acyrthosiphon pisum

Received: September 18, 2007; Accepted: November 5, 2007; Published: July 31, 2008

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