Ataenius spretulus (Haldeman) (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is more abundant and causes greater damage to golf course fairways than roughs. An inverse relationship between the density of predatory insects and the density of A. spretulus grubs on golf courses was previously reported. Here we investigate if the most abundant predators found on golf courses consume A. spretulus eggs and grubs. Eight of the most common species of carabids and staphylinids were individually placed into petri dishes containing insect eggs and A. spretulus grubs. Most carabids and staphylinids except Apocellus sphaericollis (Say) consumed immature A. spretulus. Harpalus affinus (Schrank) adults and Philonthus sp. larvae consumed 100% of available A. spretulus grubs in all replicates. Natural predation was measured by the release and recovery of A. spretulus grubs in the field. In 1999, more grubs were naturally removed from soil cores in the rough compared with the fairway. In 2000, more grubs were naturally removed from unrestricted soil cores compared with soil cores covered to exclude surface predators. In a separate field experiment in 2000, the density of carabid and staphylinid adults was manipulated using directional barriers around field plots. Simple decrease of adult predators did not lead to an increase in grub infestation. More work is needed to evaluate the significance of predation on A. spretulus eggs and grubs by carabid and staphylinid larvae.
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