Coleomegilla maculata DeGeer is a polyphagous predator that is important for suppressing pest populations in corn. We evaluated the impact of Cry3Bb-expressing transgenic corn pollen (event MON863) on C. maculata fitness parameters in the laboratory. C. maculata larvae were fed mixtures of pollen containing 0, 25, 50, 75, or 100% transgenic pollen, aphids, or were not fed; and the duration of each instar and pupal weight were compared among treatments. In a second trial, other C. maculata larvae were reared on one of the pollen mixtures or artificial diet; and the duration of larval and pupal stages, pupal weight, adult mobility, adult survivorship, and female fecundity were compared among treatments. There were no differences in any of the fitness parameters among C. maculata in the treatments fed different mixtures of pollen. Beetles in the pollen mixture treatments had faster larval development times, greater larval survivorship, and greater pupal weight than the beetles fed only aphids or an artificial diet. We conclude that we did not detect any effects on the fitness of C. maculata that ingested pollen from event MON863. However, these results do not necessarily apply to other transgenic crops expressing toxins specific to Coleoptera.
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