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The Role of Extrafloral Nectar in the Diet of the Common Green Lacewing Larva, Chrysoperla Carnea

David D. Limburg and Jay A. Rosenheim


The role of nectar feeding for predatory green lacewing larvae is poorly understood. First instar larvae of Chrysoperla carnea were observed foraging freely in the field for 4-h periods. 28 of 138 larvae fed on extrafloral nectar, with the incidence of nectar feeding increasing in areas of low prey availability. In the laboratory, mean longevity increased from 1.0 ± 0.0 day in a water-only treatment to 3.3 ± 1.3 days in a leaf extrafloral nectar treatment and 5.2 ± 1.9 days in a fruit extrafloral nectar treatment. In the field, nectar feeding again increased mean longevity substantially (mean for water treatment = 2.4 ± 1.5 days and mean for extrafloral nectar = 12.0 ± 5.0 days). Extrafloral nectar may play a key role in the ecology of lacewings.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1998 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 1311 - 1313
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998