Prey suitability of Galerucella pusilla eggs for two generalist predators, Coleomegilla maculata and Chrysoperla carnea

Amy P. Wiebe, John J. Obrycki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The leaf beetle, Galerucella pusilla, is an introduced natural enemy of purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, in North America. The suitability of G. pusilla eggs for development and survival of Chrysoperla carnea and Coleomegilla maculata was quantified by measuring preimaginal development, survival, and adult weight. Individual first-instar predators were assigned to one of two diets: G. pusilla eggs or a diet of Ephestia kuehniella eggs and pea aphids (Acyrthosiphon pisum) alternated every 24 h. Chrysoperla carnea and C. maculata larvae that fed on G. pusilla eggs had lower survival rates, longer developmental times, and reduced adult weight. Galerucella pusilla eggs were not suitable prey for 95% of C. maculata larvae, but 37% of C. carnea larvae completed development on G. pusilla eggs. Because G. pusilla eggs may be utilized by these predatory species as alternative prey during periods of low availability of suitable prey, this predation could affect the biological control of L. salicaria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-148
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Brad Tucker and Joseph Schneiders for technical support. We also thank Drs. Greg Courtney and Kirk Moloney, Iowa State University, for reviewing this article. This research was supported by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. This is Journal Paper No. J-19147 of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Ames, Iowa, Project No. 3437, and supported by the Hatch Act and State of Iowa funds.


  • Biological control
  • Biotic interference
  • Chrysoperla carnea
  • Coleomegilla maculata
  • Galerucella pusilla
  • Lythrum salicaria
  • Prey suitability
  • Purple loosestrife

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


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