Cannibalistic behavior of aphidophagous coccinellid, Hippodamia variegata (Goeze, 1777) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

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Khan M. H. , YOLDAŞ Z.

TURKIYE ENTOMOLOJI DERGISI-TURKISH JOURNAL OF ENTOMOLOGY, vol.42, no.3, pp.175-184, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.16970/entoted.397666
  • Page Numbers: pp.175-184


The variegated lady beetle, Hippodamia variegata (Goeze, 1777) is widely distributed in different agroecosystems of Turkey. Cannibalism, intraspecific predation, where individuals of the same species feed upon each other, is a common phenomenon in most aphidophagous coccinellids including H. variegata. We investigated the cannibalistic behavior of various growth stages of H. variegata in the presence and absence of Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris, 1776 under laboratory conditions. The results for cannibalism of eggs and larvae by adults revealed that eggs and younger larvae were more vulnerable to cannibalism. Notably, egg cannibalism by adults was found to be higher even at high prey abundance. Whereas, larval cannibalism was found significantly lower. Cannibalism of eggs by larvae and within the larvae showed that older larvae consumed significantly higher number of eggs and younger larvae in the absence of A. pisum indicating that cannibalism was mainly influenced by scarcity of prey. However, all the larval instars, especially 4th and 3rd instars, also consumed a substantial number of eggs even in the presence of prey. Cannibalism within the same stage/age larvae showed a successive increase with the successive larval stage showing minimum cannibalism by 1st instar larvae and maximum by 4th instar larvae. The study found that scarcity of prey leads to cannibalism in H. variegata and that egg cannibalism occurs even at high prey densities.