THE INFLUENCE OF THERMAL ENVIRONMENT ON DEVELOPMENT AND VULNERABILITY TO PREDATION OF THE AZALEA LACE BUG, STEPHANITIS PYRIOIDES (HETEROPTERA: TINGIDAE)

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Date
2004-01-09
Authors
Lepping, Miles
Advisor
Shrewsbury, Paula M
Raupp, Mike J
Denno, Robert F
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Abstract
Differential thermal environments were examined for their influence on performance traits of a key ornamental pest, the azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides, in the presence and absence of a generalist predator, the green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea. In laboratory studies, duration of development increased for nymphal instars of S. pyrioides as temperature decreased, producing significant developmental lags in cooler environments. Predation trials identified early nymphal stages as more susceptible to predation than older, dispersal-capable stages, specifically in warmer environments. Additionally, morphological characteristics attained at adulthood combined with behavioral defenses may mediate the reduction in consumption of later S. pyrioides stages by piercing-sucking arthropods such as C. carnea. Field studies confirmed development and life-stage vulnerability findings from the laboratory, however, differential thermal environments created by shading did not generally influence predation. In urban landscapes, S. pyrioides may attain a degree of enemy-free space by occupying a thermal refuge in sunny, exposed habitats.
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