- Short report
- Open Access
A new host and distribution record for the black coccinellid, Stethorus aptus Kapur (Coccinellidae: Coleoptera)
Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control volume 28, Article number: 53 (2018)
The black Coccinellid species Stethorus aptus Kapur was identified as a predator on the European red mite, Panonychus ulmi (Koch.) for the first time. The S. aptus was also reported for the first time in India. Adults of this coccinellid species were black colored and oval or slightly ovate in shape, and its body covered with numerous white setae. The grubs and adults were found actively feeding on P. ulmi in apple and almond orchards in Kashmir region of India.
The European red mite, Panonychus ulmi (Koch.), is a very serious pest of temperate fruit crops throughout the world and inflicts heavy losses. The indiscriminate use of broad spectrum pesticides is the main cause for Panonychus ulmi outbreaks by way of development of resistance and suppression of natural enemies (Cross and Berrie 1994). Any long-term commitment to pure chemical approach is unsatisfactory and has necessitated focusing research on other methods, especially biological control (Rather and Bano 2008). The species of the tribe Stethorini Dobzhansky (genera Stethorus Weise and Parastethorus Pang and Mao) are the specialist mite predators in the family Coccinellidae (Biddinger et al. 2009). Earlier, the genus Stethorus and Parastethorus were placed under the tribe Scymnini. But now, it belongs to the monogeneric tribe Stethorini. The Stethorini were unique from all other Scymninae due to their convex anterior margin of the prosternum and truncate clypeus near the antennal bases (Gordon 1985). The genus Stethorus is distributed throughout the world in many different climates ranging from tropical rainforests to temperate deciduous forests and plains to colder northern regions of Europe, Canada, and Russia (Chazeau 1985; Biddinger et al. 2009).
The adults and larvae of Stethorus spp. are specialized predators of spider mites (Tetranychidae) and closely related to false spider mite or flat mites (Tenuipalpididae) (Chazeau 1985). Khajuria (2009) reported that S. punctum LeConte was one of the efficient predators associated with phytophagous mites in India. The European red mite, P. ulmi was found infesting on apple and almond orchards in Kashmir Valley (32.17–36.55° N, 75.32–75.76 °E, 1700 MASL) of Jammu and Kashmir in India. An extensive survey was conducted during March to November 2011, for the collection of natural enemies of P. ulmi, with particular focus on Coccinellids. The collected specimens were sent to the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangaluru, India, for species identification. After identification, the specimens were deposited in the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangaluru, India.
Identified species was S. aptus Kapur (1948), which was found feeding on P. ulmi on apple and almond orchards of Kashmir valley in India (Fig. 1d). This is a new host record for S. aptus. This species was reported earlier as a predator on citrus red mite, P. citri (McGregor) in China (Li et al. 1990). The earlier records of Stethorus predators of P. ulmi were S. bifidus Kapur, S. darwini (Brethes), S. gilvifrons (Mulsant), S. puntillum Weise, S. punctum punctum LeConte, and S. vagens (Blackburn) on different host plants (Table 1). Perusal of literature shows that five species of Stethorus have been recorded in India (Table 2). Hence, S. aptus was reported for the first time from India and therefore, a new addition to Stethorus fauna of India was made through this research survey. This species was earlier reported in China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Zhejiang), Japan (Ryukyu), Malaysia, and Taiwan (Yu 1995). The eggs of S. aptus were light pinkish in color and elongated oval in shape which was laid singly in longitudinal position (Fig. 1a). The larvae were pinkish or pale orange in color in earlier stage and later turn to brown or black (Fig. 1b, e). The pupae were black, covered with numerous white setae, and attached themselves to the posterior side with the leaf surface (Fig. 1c, f). Adults are black, oval to slightly ovate in shape, covered with numerous white setae, and were active flier (Fig. 1g). Both larvae and adults were found feeding on P. ulmi (Fig. 1b, d). The other predatory coccinellid species (or genera) such as Hippodamia convergens Guerin-Meneville, Coleomegilla maculata De Geer, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), Olla abdominalis (Say), Adalia tetraspilota, Coccinella undecimpunctata, Halyzia sp., Eriopus, Scymnus, and Psyllobora were reported feeding on mites (Rather 1989; Biddinger et al. 2009), but these taxa were not considered to be primary predators of mites (McMurtry et al. 1970; Hodek and Honek 1996).
The attractive characteristics of Stethorus for mite biological control were their prey consumption, longevity, and high reproductive capacity (Biddinger et al. 2009). Hence, there is an immediate need for further studies on biology and ecology, with special preference on their predatory potential and effects of miticides or pesticides. These studies are necessary in order to promote them as a potential biological control agent on mites. There is a need for better knowledge of their requirements, including utilization of alternative foods, refuges for dormancy and from nonselective pesticides, and host-finding mechanisms as stated by Biddinger et al. (2009). These studies would help in integrating pest management strategies with inclusion of S. aptus as one of the biocontrol agent in management of European red mite among temperate fruits crops.
Biddinger DJ, Weber DC, Hull LA (2009) Coccinellidae a predators of mites: Stethorini in biological control. Biol Control 51:268–283
Chazeau J (1985) Predaceous insects. In: Helle W, Sabelis MW (eds) Spider Mites: their biology, natural enemies, and control, vol B. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 211–246
Collyer E (1964) Phytophagous mites and their predators in New Zealand orchards. N Z J Agric Res 7:551–568
Cross JV, Berrie AM (1994) Effects of repeated foliar sprays of insecticides or fungicides on organophosphate-resistant strains of the orchard predatory mite Typhlodromus pyri on apple. Crop Prot 13(1):39–44
Gordon RD (1985) The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico. J N Y Entomol Soc 93:88–99
Haji-zadeh J, Kamali GK, Assadi HB (1993) Investigations on the functional response and populations fluctuations of Stethorus gilvifrons on red spider mite, Panonychus ulmi (Koch) in Karaj vicinity [Iran]. Appl Entomol Phytopathol 61:32–34 (in Farsi)
Hodek I, Honek A (1996) Ecology of Coccinellidae. Series Entomologica, 54. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, p 464
Kapur AP (1948) On the Old World species of the genus Stethorus Weise (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Bull Entomol Res 39:297–320
Kapur AP (1961) A new species of Stethorus Weise (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) feeding on Arecanut palm mites in Kerala, southern India. Entomophaga 6:35–38
Khajuria DR (2009) Predtory complex of phytophagous mites and their role in integrated pest management in apple orchard. J Biopesticides 2(2):141–144
Korschefsky R (1931) Coccinellidae I, Pars 118. In: Schenkling S (ed) Coleopterorum Catalogus. W. Junk, Berlin, 224pp.
Li WQ, Yang HH, Deng GR, Jin MX (1990) Study on bionomics of Stethorus guangxiensis and S. aptus. J Guangxi Agric Coll 9(4):19–25
Lorenzato D (1987) Controle biologico de acaros fitofagos na cultura da macieira no municipio de Farroupilha, RS. Agron Sulriogr 23:167–183
McMurtry JA, Huffaker CB, Van de Vrie M (1970) Ecology of tetranychid mites and their natural enemies: a review. I. Tetranychid enemies: their biological characters and the impact of spray practices. Hilgardia 40:331–390
Mulsant E (1850) Species des Coléoptères trimères sécuripalpes. In: Annales des Sciences Physiques et Naturelles, d’Agriculture et d’Industrie, Lyon, vol 2, pp 1–1104
Pasqualini E, Antropoli A (1994) Stethorus punctillum. Inform Fitopatol 44(5):33–36
Putman WL (1955) The bionomics of Stethorus punctillum Wiese (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Ontario. Can Entomol 87:9–33
Rather AQ (1989) Studies on mites (Acari) associated with stone fruits in subtropical, temperate and cold-arid zones of Jammu and Kashmir. In: ChannaBasvanna GP, Viraktamath CA (eds) Progress in acarology, vol 2. Oxford and IBH publishing, New Delhi, pp 182–189
Rather AQ, Bano R (2008) Effect of different release rate of predatory mite Phytoseius domesticus in the control of European red mite, Panonychus ulmi (Koch) on apple in Kashmir. J Biol Control 22(2):227–281
Slipinski A (2007) Australian ladybird beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) their biology and classification. ABRS, Canberra, p 286
Walters PJ (1976) Susceptibility of three Stethorus spp. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) to selected chemicals used in N.S.W. apple orchards. J Aust Entomol Soc 15:49–52
Weise J (1885) Bestimmungs-Tabellen der europäischen Coleopteren. II. Heft. Coccinellidae. II. Auflage mit Berücksichtigung der Arten aus dem nöordlichen Asien. Modling, p 83
Weise J (1895) Insectes du Bengale. Coccinellidae. In: Annales de la Société Entomologique du Belgique, pp 151–157
Weise J (1900) Coccinelliden aus Ceylon gesammelt von Dr. Horn. Dtsch Entomol Z 44:417–448
Yu G (1995) The coccinellidae (excluding Epilachninae) collected by J. Klapperich in 1977 on Taiwan (Insecta: Coleoptera). Spixiana 18(2):123–144
We thank Dr. J. Poorani (National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangaluru, India) for the identification of the coccinellid species.
This paper is funded by the ICAR-Central Institute of Temperate Horticulture, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Consent for publication
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Govindasamy, M., Khursheed, S. A new host and distribution record for the black coccinellid, Stethorus aptus Kapur (Coccinellidae: Coleoptera). Egypt J Biol Pest Control 28, 53 (2018) doi:10.1186/s41938-018-0057-9