Orius insidiosus is a generalist predator for which diet influences important biological traits like reproduction and predation. We tested the effects of different diets alone or in combination on reproduction, longevity and predation capacity of this predator. The diets tested were: no food (control); pollen; Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) nymphs and adults; F. occidentalis nymphs and adults and pollen; Anagasta kuehniella (Zeller) eggs; A. kuehniella eggs and pollen; A. kuehniella eggs; F. occidentalis nymphs and adults and A. kuehniella eggs, F. occidentalis nymphs and adults and pollen. The pre-oviposition period was shortest when the diet consisted of pollen and prey (A. kuehniella and/or F. occidentalis), of the two prey species together or of only A. kuehniella eggs. The highest values for the length of the oviposition period (50.1, 48.0, 46.3 and 46.1 days), daily fecundity (3.8, 3.9, 4.0 and 4.2 eggs/female/day), total fecundity (190.3, 187.7 185.2 and 193.6 eggs/female) and longevity (52.1, 49.9, 48.7 and 48.0 days) were found with diets consisting of only A. kuehniella eggs. Pollen did not improve any of the performance parameters of the predator when offered exclusively or as a complementary food. The results show that selection of a proper diet can strongly improve reproduction, longevity and predation capacity of O. insidiosus. An important finding is that A. kuehniella eggs, which can easily be produced in large quantities, are an excellent factitious prey for mass production of O. insidiosus.
- western flower thrips
- occidentalis pergande thysanoptera
- prey preference
- omnivorous bug