Biology and feeding potential of Geocoris superbus Montandon (Heteroptera: Geocoridae), a predator of mealybug
Richa Varshney and Chandish R Ballal
The present research was undertaken to study the biology and feeding potential of Geocoris superbus Montandon (Heteroptera: Geocoridae), a predator of mealybug, collected from Jamun and Indian Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) at National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, Bangalore during the year 2015-16. It inhabits the leaf-margins of roll galls produced by Trioza sp. (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Triozidae) on the leaves of Ficus benghalensis. Inside these rolled leaves the geocorid was associated with aphids, thrips and mealybug, Phenacoccus sp. This niche was shared with predatory mirid, Chimairacoris lakshimiae Yasunaga, Schuh, and Cassis (Miridae) and an undescribed species of the genus Anthocoris Fallén (Anthocoridae). In jamun also it was found inside the leaf roll and associated with mealybugs and aphids. The morphometry and biology of this predator were studied. G. superbus nymphs and adults could be reared on UV irradiated eggs of the angoumois moth Sitotroga cerealella. The adults of G. superbus were provided with Helicoverpa armigera eggs or Phenacoccus solenopsis nymphs in addition to Sitotroga cerealella eggs, for better survival. A total of five nymphal instars were recorded and the total developmental period was 41.2 days with a nymphal period of 31.2 days. Preoviposition period of 9 days and percent hatching of 83% were recorded. Longevity of adult male and female was 24.8 and 30 days, respectively. Mean fecundity per female was 29.4 eggs.