Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 29-36, 2016 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2016.003

Response of the reduviid bug, Rhynocoris marginatus (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) to six different species of cotton pests

Kitherian SAHAYARAJ1, Subramanian MUTHU KUMAR2, Annie ENKEGAARD3
1 Crop Protection Research Centre, St. Xavier's College, Palayamkottai - 627 002, Tamil Nadu, India; e-mail:
2 UPASI Tea Research Foundation, Tea Research Institute, Nirar Dam (PO), Valparai - 642 127, Coimbatore District, Tamil Nadu, India; e-mail:
3 Aarhus University, Science and Technology, Department of Agroecology, Research Centre Flakkebjerg, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark, e-mail:

Abstract. In Indian agro-ecosystems Rhynocoris marginatus (F.) is one of the most abundant predatory arthropods and feeds on a wide range of insect pests. We investigated the responses of R. marginatus to six species of cotton pests: Spodoptera litura (F.), Sylepta derogata (F.), Pericallia ricini (F.), Mylabris indica (Thunberg), Mylabris pustulata (Thunberg) and Dysdercus cingulatus (F.), in terms of its predatory behaviour (approach and handling times), weight gain, macromolecular profile (content of carbohydrates, proteins, free aminoacids and lipids) and haemocytic profile. We also determined the predator's reliance on kairomones from different species of prey. Larvae of the species of Lepidoptera studied were approached and captured more quickly than adults of the two meloid coleopteran and one heteropteran pest and were more beneficial to the predator in terms of weight gain. Predators had a higher total protein content when reared on larvae of the three lepidopteran species, higher lipid content when reared on adults of the two meloid coleopteran species and a higher carbohydrate content when reared on adults of one heteropteran species. The number of haemocytes was greater in predators reared on larvae of the Lepidoptera studied, followed by those reared on adults of the heteropteran and lowest in those reared on adults of the two meloid coleopterans. Response to kairomones was strongest for S. litura followed by S. derogata and M. pustulata. We conclude that the Lepidoptera studied tended to be, for this predator, superior prey, with S. litura being especially beneficial and the prey species for which R. marginatus has the highest kairomonal preference. Moreover, we propose that R. marginatus may be useful as a biocontrol agent against lepidopteran cotton pests.

Keywords: Heteroptera, Reduviidae, Rhynocoris marginatus, macromolecular profiles, kairomone, feeding behaviour, haemocyte levels

Received: October 21, 2014; Accepted: October 23, 2015; Revised: October 23, 2015; Published online: January 8, 2016Show citation

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SAHAYARAJ, K., MUTHU KUMAR, S., & ENKEGAARD, A. (2016). Response of the reduviid bug, Rhynocoris marginatus (Heteroptera: Reduviidae) to six different species of cotton pests. Eur. J. Entomol.113(1), 2016.000. doi: 10.14411/eje.2016.003.
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