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Eur. J. Entomol. 1997, 94(2): 243-251
Do spiders (Araneae) feed on rose leafhopper (Edwardsiana rosae; Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae) pests of apple trees?
WISNIEWSKA J. & PROKOPY R.J.
We evaluated the ability of Philodromidae and Salticidae, the two spider families most commonly found in commercial apple orchards of Massachusetts, to feed on rose leafhoppers, Edwardsiana rosae (L.), important pests of apple foliage. We conducted two different laboratory feeding tests: a leaf test (in which individual spiders were exposed to leafhopper nymphs and adults on single leaves within paper cups for 72 h) and a branch test (similar to the leaf test but foliage on netted branches was used). Controls consisted of cups with leaves or netted branches and leafhoppers but without spiders. In both tests, we found more dead leafhoppers when spiders were present, with most leafhoppers killed during the first 24 h of confinement. In both tests, the two spider families did not differ significantly with respect to the numbers of leafhoppers killed. Smaller spiders consumed more leafhoppers than larger ones in the leaf test, but in the branch test consumption was similar among size groups. Our findings suggest that Salticidae and Philodromidae are capable of preying upon rose leafhoppers and that this capability may vary according to environmental conditions or other factors not tested in this study, such as the physiological state and/or species of spider.
KeywordsApple orchards, Cicadellidae, Edwardsiana rosae, feeding tests, Philodromidae, Salticidae, spiders