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Aphid predator (Hemiptera : Miridae)

Deraeocoris lutescens

On this page: Identification & Distribution  Biology & Ecology  Biological Control of Aphids 

Identification & Distribution

Adult Deraeocoris lutescens (=Deraeocoris punctulatus) are usually orange-brown with blackish margins (see pictures below). The hemelytron membrane of Deraeocoris bugs has no hairs, but the remainder of the forewings have short fine hairs. The scutellum has two dark bars, and unlike the rest of the dorsal surface is unpunctured. The adult body length of males is 3.8-4.3 mm and of females 4.0-4.6 mm. The larvae are grey-green and covered with truncate black hairs.

First image, Copyright Entomart.Be,  reproduced by permission.
Second image, Copyright C. Quintin, INPN  reproduced, by permission, under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

Deraeocoris lutescens is zoophagous and phytophagous, predating small invertebrates including aphids, and also probing the leaves of trees and some herbaceous plants such as nettles. It occurs in southern Britain and central and southern Europe.

 

Biology & Ecology

We have found no references to the species of aphids eaten by this species, but given the range of plant hosts, prey selection is most likely opportunistic and non-specific. The eggs are laid deep in the young woody growth of various deciduous trees in late May and June. Most larvae reach the adult state in August and early September, and overwinter as adults.

Azimizadeh et al. (2012a)  studied the oviposition site preference of Deraeocoris lutescens. Among different plant species, most oviposition was on broad bean leaves. In order to determine oviposition preference, broad bean leaves were infested with different prey and treated with other nutritional sources. Adult Deraeocoris lutescens females preferred leaves infested with the aphid Myzus persicae  to those with other nutritional sources. Leaves in dark areas were preferred over leaves in the light.

Lamine et al. (2005)  evaluated the impact that hunger has on the searching behaviour of Deraeocoris lutescens. The bugs were fed a diet of Rhopalosiphum padi  nymphs and Ephestia kuehniella (Mediterranean flour moth) eggs. Results showed an effect of starvation on the searching paths of Deraeocoris lutescens nymphs and adults. Satiated third instar nymphs manifested an intensive search path, whereas fifth instar nymphs, and adults, adopted an intermediate one. When starved, the extensive search path appeared early in young nymphs, and later in the last instar nymphs and adults, according to the degree of prey deprivation.

 

Biological control of Aphids

Deraeocoris lutescens is regarded as a general predator in European orchards. It is mainly known as egg predator of the pear psyllid, Cacopsylla pyri (Herard, 1986  ). Arcanin and Balarin, 1972 , and from traditional apple orchards in Britain by Lush, 2009  reported Deraeocoris lutescens as an aphid and mite predator from apple orchards in Croatia. Lamine (2004)  suggested it had great potential as a predator in hazel orchards.

Zadeh & Parvar (2014a)  carried out greenhouse experiments in order to assess the efficiency of Deraeocoris lutescens for the biological control of Myzus persicae  on protected sugar beet plants. The mean number of the aphid individuals per plant was significantly higher in the control treatment than in the treatments with Deraeocoris lutescens - where the number of the prey decreased gradually till it reached zero in the 5th week. This predatory bug was able to reproduce on sugar beet plants in the absence of prey. Zadeh & Parvar (2014b)  developed ways to mass produce Daerocoris lutescens for biological control purposes.

Azimizadeh et al. (2012b)  investigated the susceptibility of Deraeocoris lutescens to seven common pesticides: abamectin, fenpropathrin, imidacloprid, pirimicarb, spirodiclofen, thiacloprid and penconazole. Penconazole and pirodiclofen caused the least mortality on different life stages of the predatory bug. The highest mortality was caused by fenpropathrin, imidacloprid and hiacloprid. These latter three also had the most harmful residues.

Acknowledgements

We especially thank Entomart.Be  and INPN  for permission to use their images on this page.

For the mirid bugs we have used Southwood & Leston (1959)  and British Bugs  to aid in identification and for the key characteristics.

For aphids we have made provisional identifications from high resolution photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity. In the great majority of cases, identifications have been confirmed by microscopic examination of preserved specimens. We have used the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994)  and Blackman & Eastop (2006)  supplemented with Blackman (1974) , Stroyan (1977) , Stroyan (1984) , Blackman & Eastop (1984) , Heie (1980-1995) , Dixon & Thieme (2007)  and Blackman (2010) . We fully acknowledge these authors as the source for the (summarized) taxonomic information we have presented. Any errors in identification or information are ours alone, and we would be very grateful for any corrections. For assistance on the terms used for aphid morphology we suggest the figure  provided by Blackman & Eastop (2006).

Useful weblinks 

References

  • Arcanin B, & Balarin I (1972) Predatorske vrste Heteroptera zastupljene u fauni jabucnih nasada Hrvatske. Acta entomologica Jugoslavica 8 (1/2): 11-21.

  • Azimizadeh, N., et al. (2012a). Evaluation of oviposition-site preference behavior in predatory bug Deraeocoris lutescens Schilling (Hemiptera: Miridae). Munis Entomology & Zoology, 7(1), 506-515. Full text 

  • Azimizadeh, N., et al. (2012b). Toxic effects of some pesticides on Deraeocoris lutescens in the laboratory. Bulletin of Insectology , 65(1), 17-22. Google Scholar 

  • Bellows, T.S. & Fisher, T.W. (eds) (2005). Handbook of Biological Control. Academic Press.

  • Herard, F. (1986). Anotated list of the entomophagous complex associated with the pear psylla Psylla pyri (L.) (Hom. Psyllidae) in France. Agronomie 6, 1-34. Full text 

  • Lamine, K. (2004). Deraeocoris lutescens Schiling (Heteroptera: Miridae): un auxiliaire potentiel? Thése de doctoral en Entomologie.  Abstract 

  • Lamine, K. et al. (2005). Effect of starvation on the searching path of the predatory bug Deraeocoris lutescens. BioControl 50(5), 717–727. Abstract 

  • Lush, M. et al. (2009). Biodiversity studies of six traditional orchards in England. Natural England Research Report no. 025.  Full text 

  • Zadeh, N.A. & Parvar, A. (2014a). Evaluation of the effectiveness of predatory bug Deraeocoris lutescens for the green peach aphid control in greenhouse conditions and its economic justification. European Journal of Zoological Research 3(1), 136-141. Full text 

  • Zadeh, N.A. & Parvar, A. (2014b). Study of mass production of predatory bugs Daerocoris sp. for use in biological control against sucking pests in different crops. Annals of Biological Research 5(1), 100-105. Full text