Study of food consumption of Exochomus flaviventris (Col. Coccinellidae), predator of Phenacoccus manihoti (Hom.: Pseudococcidae).
Food requirements of each larval stage and of young females of Exochomus flaviventris were investigated in the laboratory (25 ± 1°C, 80-90% RH and LD 12:12) using 2 coccids associated with cassava: Planococcus citri (indigenous prey) and Phenacoccus manihoti (exotic prey). These prey constitute the main food for E. flaviventris. E. flaviventris needed an average of 71.8 mg of fresh P. manihoti (eggs and young females) or 86.9 mg of P. citri (eggs and young females) to complete development. In each case, the 4th-instar larvae of the predator were the most voracious with 70% of the total consumption. Young females fed less than the last-instar larvae, especially when the exotic prey was involved.