Functional response of the tiger beetle Megacephala carolina carolina (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on twolined spittlebug (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) and fall armyworm (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).
The functional response of the tiger beetle Megacephala carolina carolina L. (Coleoptera: Carabidae) was determined on adult twolined spittlebug, Prosapia bicincta (Say) (Hemiptera: Cercopidae), and fourth instars of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), in single-prey and two-prey systems. In the laboratory, M. carolina carolina demonstrated a type II functional response for P. bicincta and S. frugiperda in both single- and two-prey systems. Search efficiency of M. carolina declined for both prey as the initial number of prey increased. Of the total prey consumed, M. carolina carolina killed significantly more S. frugiperda than P. bicincta in the single-prey system (8.0 and 4.5, respectively) and the two-prey system (5.0 and 2.0, respectively). Estimates of attack coefficient, a, were not significantly different for P. bicincta and S. frugiperda in the single-prey (0.07 and 0.02) and two-prey systems (0.04 and 0.06), respectively. The handling time, Th, was significantly greater for P. bicincta (5.02 and 10.64 h) than for S. frugiperda (2.66 and 4.41 h) in single- and two-prey systems, respectively. Estimations of attack coefficient and handling time in the single-prey system were used to predict prey preference of M. carolina carolina. No strong prey switching response was observed. M. carolina carolina showed no preference for either prey. However, in the presence of S. frugiperda, the functional response of the predator for P. bicincta was reduced. M. carolina carolina is a potential predator of one or more turfgrass pests and should be considered in conservation efforts.