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The Behavior and Feeding Preference of the 12-Spotted Beetle <I>Epilachna indica</I> MULSTANT (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: Subfamily Epilachninae) Towards the Black Nightshade <I>Solanum nigrum</I> (Family: Solanacea)

Author(s): Fauziah Abdullah | Faizah Abdullah

Journal: Journal of Entomology
ISSN 1812-5670

Volume: 6;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 176;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: feeding behavior | Solanum nigrum | Epilachna indica | feeding preference

Epilachna indica (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae: subfamily: Epilachninae) on ten black nightshade Solanum nigrum (Solanaceae) plants was observed from 08:00 to 19:00 h in the field at Ulu Kelang, Selangor, Malaysia. 29.26% time was spent feeding compared to 7.22% mating, 51.05% resting and walking and 12.45% flying. Optimal feeding time in the field was from 08:00 h to 10:00 h with peak feeding occurred at 09:30 h. Leaf disc choice bioassay showed that E. indica prefers to feed on both Solanum melongena and S. nigrum leaf discs. In the laboratory, 72 h continuous observation on ten beetles showed that the leaf area consumption of S. nigrum was 1.2020.085 mm2 h-1 for one beetle. This study indicates that S. nigrum is a potential trap plant for pest management of the economically important egg plant. Solanum melongena. Future study on feeding stimulant on S. nigrum will enlighten the understanding of host selection in E. indica.]]>
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