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OVIPOSITION AND NICHE PARTITIONING IN APHIDOPHAGOUS INSECTS ON MAIZE

  • Daniel Coderre (a1), Louis Provencher (a1) and Jean-Claude Tourneur (a1)
Abstract

Principal components analysis was used to assess niche partitioning between four aphid predators on the basis of oviposition strategies. The study was conducted by sampling abundance and position of the eggs of these predators in corn monocultures in two locations of southern Quebec. The results indicated that the chrysopid Chrysopa occulata Say laid its eggs on corn leaves usually without aphid colonies, and late in the season. All other predators reacted to aphid concentrations. The syrphid Sphaerophoria philanthus (Mg.) oviposited close to the ground, early in the season, and among colonies of the aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (L.). The two coccinellids laid their eggs during July and August with a maximum during tasseling for Coleomegilla maculata lengi (Timberlake) and after pollination for Hippodamia tredecimpunctata tibialis Say. Of these two species, the latter one selected sites at higher levels on the plant, and was more abundant at the edges of the field. It is suggested that the observed niche partitioning cannot be the result of interspecific competition in variable environments such as maize monocultures.

L’analyse en composantes principales est utilisée afin de mettre en évidence la répartition de niches de quatre aphidiphages en utilisant leur stratégie de ponte. L’étude s’est réalisée sur deux monocultures de maïs du sud du Québec où étaient évaluées l’abondance et la position des pontes des prédateurs. Les résultats indiquent que le chrysope Chrysopa occulata Say pond sur des feuilles sans colonies de pucerons, tard en saison. Tous les autres prédateurs réagissent positivement à la présence des pucerons. Le syrphe Sphaerophoria philanthus (Mg.) pond sur des feuilles près du sol, tôt en saison et parmi les colonies importantes du puceron Rhopalosiphum padi (L.). Les deux coccinelles pondent en juillet et août, avec un maximum à la sortie de la panicule pour Coleomegilla maculata lengi (Timberlake) et peu après l’anthèse pour Hippodamia tredecimpunctata tibialis Say. De ces deux espèces, cette dernière choisit des sites plus haut sur le plant, et est plus abondante en bordure des parcelles. Finalement, il est suggéré que la répartition de niche observée ne peut être le résultat d’une compétition interspécifique dans un environnement aussi instable que la monoculture de maïs.

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References
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The Canadian Entomologist
  • ISSN: 0008-347X
  • EISSN: 1918-3240
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-entomologist
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