Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (1): 153-157, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.021

Polyphagous predatory rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) induce winged morphs in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Adalbert BALOG*, Mohsen MEHRPARVAR**, Wolfgang W. WEISSER**
Institute of Ecology, Friedrich-Schiller University, Dornburger Str. 159, Jena, Germany

A number of aphid species have been shown to produce winged dispersal morphs in the presence of natural enemies. Previous studies tested specialized aphid predators such as ladybirds or lacewing larvae. We confronted colonies of pea aphids with the polyphagous rove beetles, Drusilla canaliculata and Tachyporus hypnorum. For both predators we found that the percentage of winged morphs increased in predator-attacked pea aphid colonies compared to a control. The behaviour of the two rove beetles species was noticeably different. D. canaliculata mostly foraged on the ground and rarely on the plant, while T. hypnorum was almost exclusively observed on the plants, causing a higher number of aphids to drop to the ground, which resulted in a stronger increase in winged morph production. Our results clearly show that not only monophagous aphid predators but also more polyphagous insect predators, which include aphids in their diet, can induce aphids to produce winged morphs.

Keywords: Staphylinidae, Drusilla canaliculata, Tachyporus hypnorum, Aphididae, Acyrthosiphon pisum, aphid polyphenism, predator-prey interaction, rove beetles, maternal effects, induced defence

Received: June 25, 2012; Accepted: August 27, 2012; Published: January 2, 2013

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