Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 259-264, 2016 | 10.14411/eje.2016.030

The effect of ambient temperature on larvae of Scatopsciara cunicularius (Diptera: Sciaridae) feeding on the thallose liverwort Marchantia polymorpha

Weerachon SAWANGPROH1, Johan EKROOS2, Nils CRONBERG1
1 Biodiversity, Department of Biology, Ecology Building, Lund University, 223 62 Lund, Sweden; e-mails: weerachon.sawangproh@biol.lu.se, nils.cronberg@biol.lu.se
2 Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, Lund University, Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden; e-mail: johan.ekroos@cec.lu.se

Herbivory on liverworts is rarely reported. We studied the effects of feeding by larvae of the sciarid fly Scatopsciara cunicularius on the growth of the thalloid liverwort Marchantia polymorpha at two different constant temperatures, 12°C and 22°C. Larvae reared at the lower temperature fed slower and over a longer period of time, which resulted in more damage and a greater reduction in the growth of the liverwort than that caused by those reared at the higher temperature. The reduction in growth of the liverwort was positively density-dependent in terms of number of larvae at both temperatures. These results indicate that the larvae of S. cunicularius are likely to be an effective means of controlling M. polymorpha, which is a common weed in plant nurseries and greenhouse cultures.

Keywords: Diptera, Sciaridae, Scatopsciara cunicularius, gnat larva, sciarid fly, biological control, Marchantia polymorpha

Received: November 24, 2015; Accepted: February 4, 2016; Published online: March 2, 2016

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