Eur. J. Entomol. 106 (2): 199-204, 2009 | 10.14411/eje.2009.025

Predation of Bradysia sp. (Diptera: Sciaridae), Liriomyza trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae) and Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) by Coenosia attenuata (Diptera: Muscidae) in greenhouse crops

Maria Del Mar TELLEZ1, Gervasio TAPIA1, Manuel GAMEZ*,2, Tomas CABELLO3, Helmut F. van EMDEN4
1 IFAPA Agricultural Research Station of Almeria, Junta de Andalucia, Almeria, Spain
2 Department of Statistics and Applied Mathematics, University of Almeria, Almeria, Spain
3 Department of Applied Biology, University of Almeria, Almeria, Spain
4 School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AJ, UK

We studied the predation behaviour of the "hunter fly" (Coenosia attenuata Stein) in the laboratory and greenhouse. In the laboratory, which was conducted at 25C at 60-80% RH, with a 16L : 8D photoperiod, we examined the functional response of this species to three different pests, namely the sciarid fly (Bradysia sp.), the tobacco whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) and the leaf miner Liriomyza trifolii. In the greenhouse, we studied the population dynamics of the predator and its prey on pepper and water melon crops grown in southern Spain. Adult hunter flies were found to exhibit a type I functional response to adult sciarid flies and whiteflies, but a type II response to adult leaf miners. The type II response was a result of the greater difficulty in capturing and handling leaf miners compared to the other two species. The dynamics of the predator-prey interaction in the greenhouse revealed that the predator specializes mainly on adult sciarids and that the presence of the other prey can be supplemental, but is never essential for survival of the predator; this, however, is crop-dependent. The results on the dynamics of the predator-prey systems were obtained through a known population dynamics model with modifications.

Keywords: Greenhouse crops, functional response, predator-prey population dynamics, Diptera, Sciaridae, Bradysia sp., Agromyzidae, Liriomyza trifolii, Muscidae, Coenosia attenuata, Hemiptera, Aleyrodidae, Bemisia tabaci

Received: October 29, 2008; Accepted: February 23, 2009; Published: May 20, 2009

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