Nutritional suitability of corn pollen for the predator Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
Lundgren, J.G. | Wiedenmann, R.N.
The nutritional suitability of corn pollen for the facultatively phytophagous predator Coleomegilla maculata was studied in the laboratory. Dry matter, organic matter, ash, crude protein, amino acid, and quercetin contents of pollen from 10 hybrids of field corn were determined. C. maculata were reared on pollen or aphids+artificial diet for their entire lives; larval duration, post-mortem adult dry weights, fecundity within 7 days of mating, and mortality rates were compared among the treatments. In another experiment, C. maculata larvae were reared on pollen; weight gained, pollen ingested, and frass produced were compared among instars. Also, consumption relative to increases in larval biomass and the efficiency with which larvae converted corn pollen into biomass were compared among instars. Beetles reared on aphids had greater weights and fecundity and a shorter larval duration relative to the pollen-fed beetles. The percentages of organic matter and ash in corn pollen were significantly correlated with C. maculata mortality, and we hypothesize that some micronutrient or phytochemical is at sub-optimal levels for C. maculata development in some of the pollens. We observed an increase in the conversion efficiency of pollen and a decrease in the consumption relative to biomass of C. maculata as the larvae aged, which suggests a physiological or behavioral alteration in the feeding behavior of C. maculata during the larval stage.Show more [+] Less [-]