Comparative biology and predatory potential of Australian ladybird beetle (Cryptolaemus montrouzieri) on Planococcus citri and Dactylopius tomentosus.
The biology and predation of Cryptolaemus montrouzieri on Planococcus citri and Dactylopius tomentosus was studied in the laboratory at 29.4-32.1°C and 65-71% RH. C. montrouzieri completed its growth successfully with both prey species, but preferred P. citri to D. tomentosus. The egg and larval periods were 4.00 and 12.42 days with P. citri, and 4.23 and 17.67 days with D. tomentosus. Development from egg to pupa took 32.51 days with D. tomentosus and 26.09 days with P. citri. The sex ratio (males:females) with these prey was 1:1.75 and 1:1.49, respectively. Feeding preference by C. montrouzieri on P. citri was twice that with D. tomentosus (150.83 and 72 mg, respectively).