Potential cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii, population suppression by arthropod predators in upland cotton. Academic Article uri icon


  • The cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover, predation rate of convergent lady beetle, Hippodamia convergens Guerin-Meneville, was determined by assigning a single predator randomly to each of four prey density treatments in the laboratory. Prey densities included 25, 50, 100, and 200 aphids per Petri dish arena. Predation response was recorded at 1, 4, 8, 16, 24, and 48h after assigning predators to their prey treatments. Rate of consumption increased through time, with all 25 aphids consumed during the first 4h of the experiment. At the highest density, adult lady beetle consumed on average 49, 99, 131, 163, 183, and 200 aphids within 1, 4, 8, 16, 24 and 48 h, respectively. Predators showed a curvilinear feeding response in relation to total available time, indicating that convergent lady beetles have the potential to suppress larger populations of aphids through continuous feeding by regulating their predation efficiency during feeding. The analysis of age-specific mortality in absence of prey revealed that lady beetles could survive for an extended period of time (more than 2 weeks) without prey. The ability of a predator to survive without prey delays or prevents the rebound of pest populations that is a significant factor in natural biological control. A two-year field sampling of 10 cotton arthropod predator species showed that spiders (27%) were the most dominant foliage dwelling predators in the Texas High Plains cotton followed by convergent lady beetles (23.5%), hooded beetles (13.5%), minute pirate bugs (11%), green lacewings (9.5%), bigeyed bugs (7.5%), scymnus beetles (3%), soft-winged flower beetles (2%), damsel bugs (1.5%), and assassin bugs (1.5%). A field cage study showed that one H. convergens adult per plant released at prey density of one aphid per leaf kept the aphid population below economic threshold for the entire growing season.

published proceedings

  • Insect Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Shrestha, R. B., & Parajulee, M. N.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Shrestha, Ram B||Parajulee, Megha N

publication date

  • December 2013