COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY AND PREDATORY POTENTIAL OF Cryptolaemus montrouzieri ON MEALYBUGS
Keywords:Biology, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, mealybugs, predatory potential, instars, agriculture
Comparative biology of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri on Maconellicoccus hirsutus and Pseudococcus citri revealed that it had completed its life cycle successfully on both species. The mean total developmental period (egg to pupa) was 18.1 days, when reared on P. citri and it was 20.9 days in M. hirsutus. The adults developed on P. citri had high fecundity 284.2 eggs / female and longevity 47.0 days than those developed on M. hirsutus. Analysis on the growth indices of C. montrouzieri showed more preference on P. citri with high suitability index of 2.51 than M. hirsutus (1.78). Among two life stages, adults of C. montrouzieri was more voracious and each adult consumed an average 258.7, 352.1 and 217.3 numbers on M. hirsutus while, it was 323.8, 715.6 and 328.6 number of eggs, nymphs and adults for P. citri, respectively. The grubs required 221.1, 55.1 and 36.6 numbers of M. hirsutus and 1079.0, 341.3 and 41.0 number of eggs, nymphs and adults of P. citri, respectively to complete life stages. Out of different instars of C. montrouzieri, third and fourth instars required around 92.1, 78.5 and 85.9 per cent and 88.9, 93.5 and 79.0 per cent of total eggs, nymphs and adults of P. citri and M. hirsutus consumed, respectively.
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