Functional Responses of Three Neotropical Mirid Predators to Eggs of Tuta absoluta on Tomato

Joop Van Lenteren*, Lia Hemerik, Juracy Lins, Vanda Bueno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) has quickly developed into a significant tomato pest worldwide. While the recently found mirid predators Macrolophus basicornis (Stal), Engytatus varians (Distant) and Campyloneuropsis infumatus (Carvalho) of this pest are able to establish and reproduce on tomato, biological knowledge of these mirids is still limited. Here we describe the functional response of the three mirid predators of the tomato pest T. absoluta when offered a range of prey densities (four, eight, 16, 32, 64, 128 and 256 eggs) during a 24 h period inside cylindrical plastic cages in the laboratory. Engytatus varians and M. basicornis showed a type III functional response, whereas C. infumatus showed a type II functional response. At the highest prey densities, C. infumatus consumed an average of 51.0 eggs, E. varians 91.1 eggs, and M. basicornis 100.8 eggs. Taking all information into account that we have collected of these three Neotropical mirid species, we predict that M. basicornis might be the best candidate for control of the tomato borer in Brazil: it has the highest fecundity, the largest maximum predation capacity, and it reacts in a density-dependent way to the widest prey range
Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • 016-3965


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