Functional response of Coleomegilla maculata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to Colorado potato beetle eggs (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Joseph Munyaneza, John J. Obrycki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A comparative study of the functional response of Coleomegilla maculata DeGeer (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) fourth instars was conducted under laboratory, greenhouse, and field conditions. In the laboratory, individual larvae were placed in 9-cm petri dishes for 24 h, with 1, 3, 5, or 7 Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata [Say]) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) egg masses. Each egg mass was standardized at 15 eggs. In the greenhouse and field, C. maculata larvae were provided with an equivalent of 0.5 to 35 L. decemlineata egg masses/m2 of potato leaf. Fourth instars of C. maculata exhibited a type II functional response to L. decemlineata eggs under laboratory, greenhouse, and field conditions. Predator search efficiency was inversely related with prey density. The maximum mean attack rate (8.7 eggs) by C. maculata larvae in the field was about half the mean attack rate in the laboratory (17.6 eggs) and greenhouse (20.1 eggs). The difference in prey density between the laboratory and field seems to have been a major contributing factor in determining the rate of predation, whereas differences in environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and possible alternate food) may explain the differences observed in the predation rate in the greenhouse and field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-224
Number of pages10
JournalBiological Control
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank T. Cortilet, E. Butin, A. Kao, C. Bogran, and W. Morjan for field assistance. We also thank Robert J. O’Neil, Department of Entomology, Purdue University, for supplying us the field cages. This research was a joint project between Purdue University and Iowa State University, supported by USDA North Central IPM Grant No. 93-34103-8469. Journal Paper No. J-17151 of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa, Project No. 2755, and supported by Hatch Act and State of Iowa funds.


  • Coleomegilla maculata
  • Colorado potato beetle
  • Leptinotarsa decemlineata
  • Solanum tuberosum
  • functional response
  • predation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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