Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Predation and reproduction of the generalist predator Nabis pseudoferus preying on Tuta absoluta.

Abstract

The damsel bug, Nabis pseudoferus Remane (Hemiptera: Namidae), is a generalist predator of small arthropods, including key insect pests of vegetable crops. In this study, we characterized the predation and development of various N. pseudoferus life stages when preying on the eggs and first- and fourth-instar nymphs of the invasive South American tomato pinworm, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). These findings were compared to those of the bug's common prey, cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Of the life stages tested, females showed the highest predation rate on all tested prey, due to their high longevity, large body, and great energy requirements for reproduction. The predator's oviposition rate was clearly influenced by prey type, and was highest when feeding on fourth instars of T. absoluta. Considering the zoophytophagy of most of the life stages of other mirid species of tomato, and the lower propensity of N. pseudoferus to feed on plants, these results show that this species can be considered as a key indigenous natural enemy for sustainable pest control packages against T. absoluta in newly invaded areas.