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Feeding responses of carabid beetles to dimethoate-contaminated prey

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1 The feeding responses of Pterostichus madidus Fab., P. melanarius Illiger and Nebria brevicollis Fab. (Coleoptera: Carabidae) to dimethoate-contaminated prey were investigated in ‘no-choice’ and ‘choice’ feeding tests.

2 In the no-choice tests, starved beetles were presented with aphid prey treated with four concentrations of dimethoate. In the choice tests, treated and untreated prey were presented together and the feeding preferences of the starved beetles observed.

3 No avoidance or rejection behaviour was seen in any of the carabids in either of the tests, i.e. no discrimination of the treated and untreated prey was observed.

4 Sufficient dimethoate was consumed with the aphid prey to cause significant mortality levels in the carabids.

5 The concentrations of dimethoate used in these experiments are comparable to field exposure, so carabids feeding in treated fields and field margins could potentially suffer lethal effects via the indirect exposure route of consuming contaminated prey.

Keywords: Carabidae; Nebria brevicollis; Pterostichus madidus; Pterostichus melanarius; dietary exposure; insect predator; pesticide; sublethal effects

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Plant and Invertebrate Ecology Division, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2JQ, U.K.

Publication date: May 1, 2004

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