Reproduction and population parameters of the Nearctic predator Geocoris punctipes at constant and varying temperature regimes

Bueno, V.H.P.; Calixto, A.M.; Montes, F.C.; Lenteren, J.C. van


The heteropteran predator Geocoris punctipes (Say) has been used in augmentative biological control since 2000 to control Lepidoptera. However, surprisingly, few data are available about the influence of temperature on its population development, which is of key importance to plan the number and moment of releases to obtain sufficient pest reduction. The objective of this study was to evaluate daily and total fecundity, longevity and life table parameters (mx, lx, rm, R, λ, T and TD) of G. punctipes at constant (16.8°C, 21.5°C, 24.5°C and 28.3°C) and corresponding varying (day/night) (21/11°C, 24/18°C, 27/21°C and 30/26°C) temperatures. Pairs of adult predators aged 24 h and originating from nymphs exposed to the same temperature regimes were kept at the above-mentioned temperature regimes in Petri dishes containing Anagasta kuehniella (Zeller) eggs and an oviposition substrate. Tests were conducted in climatic chambers at the different temperature regimes and a RH 70 ± 10% and a 14L: 10D photoperiod. Reproduction, longevity and life table parameters were significantly affected by temperature, with clear differences between treatments at low (16.8°C, 21/11°C, 21.5°C, 24/18°C) or a high (24.5°C, 27/21°C, 28.3°C, 30/26°C) temperature regimes. Highest reproduction and fastest population growth of G. punctipes took place at average temperatures ranging from 24.5°C to 30°C, and neither reproduction nor population growth was negatively influenced by varying temperatures at any of the temperature regimes.