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Life history traits of Blaptostethus pallescens (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), a candidate for use in augmentative biological control in Egypt

Sobhy, I.S., Abdul-Hamid, A.M., Sarhan, A.A., Shoukry, A.A., Mandour, N.S. and Reitz, S.R. 2014. Life history traits of Blaptostethus pallescens (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), a candidate for use in augmentative biological control in Egypt. Applied Entomology and Zoology 49 (2) , pp. 315-324. 10.1007/s13355-014-0252-4

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Blaptostethus pallescens Poppius (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) is an abundant native predator in mango orchards and other cropping systems in Egypt. To determine suitable mass-rearing conditions for this little-studied species, we assessed some of its biological characteristics. Testing its thermal response at three constant temperatures (20, 25, 30 °C), showed that immature development time and adult longevity decreased with increasing temperature. Reproductive success of individual females was greatest when reared at 25 °C (84.3 ± 3.1 eggs) rather than at 20 °C (46.6 ± 2.0 eggs) or 30 °C (65.2 ± 2.5 eggs). Although B. pallescens reared at 25 °C had a significantly higher net reproductive rate (R 0), which may be attributed to their relatively rapid development and high fecundity, we argue that 30 °C seems to be more convenient for rearing B. pallescens, as mean generation time (T) and doubling time (DT) are clearly shorter, thus more individuals could be reared per unit of time at 30 °C. Mating significantly reduced male and female longevity, as unmated adults lived 25–45 % longer than mated individuals did. Unmated females did not lay eggs, suggesting that mating is a prerequisite for egg maturation. Adult males and females performed best, in terms of longevity, when fed Ephestia kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) eggs instead of non-prey diets. However, diets of plant sap or pollen could sustain adults in times of limited egg availability. Because its biology is similar to that of other subtropical anthocorids already reared for augmentative releases, B. pallescens may be amenable to mass-rearing using already established techniques. Therefore, B. pallescens could be used to improve augmentative biological control in crops such as mango or maize in Egypt where it already naturally occurs, and therefore would not engender concerns over non-target effects that an exotic, generalist biological control agent would.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0003-6862
Date of Acceptance: 12 February 2014
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 15:45

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