We studied life history responses of larvae of three coccinellid species, Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer), Hippodamia convergens Guerin-Meneville, and Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), when deprived of food for different periods of time during the fourth stadium. The coccinellid species did not differ in starvation resistance when larvae were starved throughout the stadium; however, for larvae fed only on day 1 of the stadium, H. convergens had the highest starvation resistance, followed by H. axyridis and then C. maculata. Percentage weight loss of larvae was affected by food deprivation period and coccinellid species. Both C. maculata and H. axyridis lost significantly more weight than H. convergens when starved throughout the fourth stadium. When deprived of food for 4 d of the stadium, C. maculata lost a higher percentage of initial body weight than H. axyridis. Percentage weight loss of H. convergens did not differ from that of C. maculata or H. axyridis. The weight of fourth instars and adults declined in an accelerating pattern as food deprivation period increased. However, food deprivation period had no significant effect on pupal development time for any of the three species or on larval development time for C. maculata and H. convergens. The increase in H. axyridis larval development time as a result of an increase in food deprivation period was curvilinear. Based on this laboratory study, it would seem that H. convergens is better able to cope with acute nutritional stress than either C. maculata or H. axyridis.
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