Developmental studies of Blaptostethus pallescens (Poppius) (Anthocoridae: Heteroptera) on different preys.
The key for understanding the behavior and vitality of an insect is to study the effect of food, temperature and changing factors responsible for insect development. The effect on prey intake on the development of predator varies distinctly with the prey consumed. The study was conducted to understand the impact of different hosts on development of anthocorid predator, Blaptostethus pallescens under laboratory conditions. The studywas carried out on the sucking pests like thrips, red spider mites, nymphs of papaya mealybug and eggs of rice moth. The results showed that incubation period lasted for 5.57±0.37 days in thrips followed by papaya mealy bug crawlers (5.14±0.26 days) which was the longest duration among the hosts evaluated. Papaya mealybug nymphs had longest average nymphal period (23 days) whereas shortest was observed in rice moth eggs(17 days). Adult longevity was highest in rice moth eggs (47 days)compared over other prey. The total number of instars remained constant among all the host i.e., 5 nymphal instars during the complete development of the predator. The experimental results indicated that alternate hosts containing thrips and mites can be incorporated in field for maintaining predator population in absence of primary hosts.