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Coleomegilla maculata (Cole opera: Coccinellidae): Its Predation upon the Colorado Potato Beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Its Incidence in Potatoes and Surrounding Crops

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The polyphagous coccinellid Coleomegilla maculate DeGeer fed on eggs and small larvae of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say). Prey consumption rates were highly correlated with temperature. This predator did not prefer aphids over potato beetle larvae in choice tests, but consumption of larvae decreased as aphid densities increased. Field cage studies demonstrated that C. maculata adults can significantly reduce populations of Colorado potato beetle eggs and small larvae. The incidence of C. maculata adults was monitored in early- and late-planted potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) in Rhode Island and Michigan. This predator coincided with first-generation Colorado potato beetle prey in early-planted potatoes in both states and with second-generation potato beetle prey in late-planted potatoes in Rhode Island. C. maculata also was found in cole crops, snap beans, cucurbits, and sweet corn in 1986 and in alfalfa and sweet corn in 1987, and the highest densities were observed in sweet corn during pollen production. Using observed temperatures and phenological models from the literature, we determined that C. maculata has the potential to complete two or three generations per year in Rhode Island and three or four generations per year in Michigan. The actual number of generations is probably dependent on its residence and dynamics in several adjacent crops.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1990

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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