We studied the importance of vision and antennal olfaction in the location of habitat, prey patches within habitats, and the close-range orientation to prey for three common predatory heteropterans [Nabicula subcoleoptrata (Kirby), Nabis americoferus Carayon, and Sinea diadema (F.)]. In each of the experiments, predators were randomly assigned to no vision (eyes painted), no antennal olfaction (antennectomy), or control treatment groups. Habitat location by two of the predators (Nabicula subcoleoptrata and S. diadema) was compared among the treatments in a field study. Antennal olfaction was critical in habitat location for both species, but as release distance increased, fewer bugs in all treatment groups located the habitat. Similarly, all three species relied on antennal olfaction for prey patch and close-range orientation to prey [Lygus lineolaris (Palisot de Beauvios)]. In a greenhouse experiment, individuals with antennae intact were aroused to prey up to 30 cm away more often (60%) than were antennectomized bugs (20%). In other studies, antennectomized bugs captured fewer prey than control or blinded individuals, but a few individuals lacking both vision and antennal olfaction located prey, suggesting the use of additional cues such as prey-created vibration. Assuming that chewing prey create more vibration than do sucking prey positioned in feeding sites, we compared the number of chewing (Colias eurytheme Boisduval larvae) and sucking (L. lineolaris nymphs) prey taken by the three predators. Although vibration alone did not appear to facilitate prey location for any of the predators, vibratory signals were used in addition to olfactory cues by Nabis americoferus.
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