Coconut trees of the cv. Green Dwarf of Jiqui in Bahia, northeastern Brazil, that displayed hartrot symptoms were cut and inspected for the presence of insect vectors in the leaf axils. Eggs, nymphs and adults of Lincus lobuliger Breddin (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), vector of the protozoan causing hartrot, were collected together with an abundance of adults of the predatory beetle Hololepta (Leionata) quadridentada (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Histeridae). In the field, both were placed in a plastic container for transport, and the predation of L. lobuliger eggs by the histerid was observed. The predation was subsequently confirmed under controlled laboratory conditions. Here, we report for the first time H. quadridentada preying on L. lobuliger eggs, suggesting that the histerid contributes to the natural biological control of this vector. Moreover, our results could contribute to the development of biologically sound control strategies against L. lobuliger or other Lincus species.
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Vol. 102 • No. 2