Performance of the tiger-fly Coenosia attenuata Stein reared on the alternative prey, Chironomus plumosus (L.) larvae in

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Performance of the tiger-fly Coenosia attenuata Stein reared on the alternative prey, Chironomus plumosus (L.) larvae in coir substrate Deyu Zou & Thomas A. Coudron & Weihong Xu & Jingyang Xu & Huihui Wu

Received: 13 March 2020 / Accepted: 4 November 2020 # Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Abstract The performance of the tiger-fly Coenosia attenuata Stein was examined when fed on larvae of the buzzer midge, Chironomus plumosus (Linnaeus), and combination of buzzer midge and fungus gnat, Bradysia impatiens (Johannsen). Significant differences were observed in the developmental time of larvae, body length, and body weight of pupae and adults of C. attenuata in response to species and preservation status of prey but not in response to instar and prey number of C. plumosus. Most biological characteristics except for developmental time of pupae, length of female pupae, survival rate from the 5th day to pupation, and adult emergence improved for tiger-fly larvae fed on live B. impatiens larvae in the first four days and live C. plumosus larvae from the fifth day to pupation compared to those fed on live C. plumosus larvae in all larval stages. When live alternative prey were replaced with the frozen prey, the developmental time of larvae was prolonged, and adult male body length, survival rate from the fifth day to pupation, and the percentages of D. Zou : W. Xu : J. Xu Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory, Institute of Plant Protection, Tianjin Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 17 Jinjing Road, Tianjin 300384, China T. A. Coudron Biological Control of Insects Research Laboratory, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, 1503 S. Providence, Res. PK, Columbia, MO 65203-3535, USA H. Wu (*) Agricultural Analysis and Test Center, Tianjin Agricultural University, 22 Jinjing Road, Tianjin 300384, China e-mail: [email protected]

pupation and adult emergence decreased. The survival rate of larvae in the first 4 days and percentage of pupation improved with decreased alternative prey instar and increased alternative prey number. These results indicate live C. plumosus larvae can serve as an alternative food source for mass rearing of C. attenuata. As an alternative food source, C. plumosus larvae provide significant advancements for the application of tigerfly in banker media system and/or open rearing. Keywords Killer fly . Development . Biological control . Bradysia impatiens . Aquatic insect . Alternative food

Introduction The tiger-fly, Coenosia attenuata Stein, 1903 (Diptera: Muscidae) is currently thought to be a useful generalist predator of agricultural key pests in both larval and adult stages, such as fungus gnats, whiteflies, leafminers, winged aphids, shore flies, and fruit flies (Cock 1993; Gerling et al. 2001; Parrela 2008; Sanderson et al. 2009; Téllez et al. 2009; Pohl et al. 2012; Seabra et al. 2015; Zou et al. 2017a, b; Couri et al. 2018). A female C. attenuata is capable of consuming 12 adult sciarids, or 23.8 whiteflies, or 17.25 adult leafminer flies in 24 h (Téllez et al. 2009). C.