Diet breadth of the aphid predator Chrysoperla rufilabris Burmeister (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae)

Michela C. Batista, George E. Heimpel, Mariana Bulgarella, Madelaine Venzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The performance (development and reproduction) of generalist predators can vary greatly among the prey species that they use, and these differences can influence the ability of predatory insects to suppress pest populations. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of larvae of the green lacewing Chrysoperla rufilabris (Burmeister, 1839) by offering 16 species of aphids and by assessing the effects of each species on the survival, larval development time, prey consumption, pupal mass and egg load of adult Chr. rufilabris females taking aphid phylogeny into account. Chrysoperla rufilabris larvae preyed on individuals from all 16 aphid species, but complete development, adult emergence and egg load production were achieved only in seven species. As a general pattern, the best levels of performance were achieved for an aphid clade that includes the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Matsumara, 1917), and for a milkweed-feeding species, Myzocallis asclepiadis (Monell, 1879). We found significant phylogenetic clustering for most of the performance traits indicating the aspects of specialization in the diet breadth of Chr. rufilabris despite the fact that this species is considered a generalist aphid predator. These findings can help us to understand the interactions of this species in agroecological food webs, where it is commonly found, and provide insights into why natural, conservation biological control or augmentative releases may succeed or fail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-535
Number of pages8
JournalBulletin of Entomological Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 8 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jonathan Dregni for help in rearing aphids, and the following organization for funding assistance: the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) in Brazil, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) in Brazil, Fundação de Amparo a Pequisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG) in Brazil, and Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station in the United States.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • Biological control
  • generalist predator
  • phylogeny
  • prey range

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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