The predatory ability of adult Japanese diving beetles on 4th instars of the Japanese encephalitis vector mosquito, Culex tritaeniorhynchus, was assessed under laboratory conditions. To determine the differences in the predatory ability among 14 beetle species inhabiting rice fields, the following species were introduced to 10 Cx. tritaeniorhynchus 4th instars in a plastic cup: 5 small-bodied species (<9 mm in body length) comprising Hydroglyphus japonicus, Noterus japonicus, Laccophilus difficilis, Hyphydrus japonicus, and Agabus japonicus; 7 medium-bodied species (9–20 mm in body length) comprising Hydaticus rhantoides, Hydaticus grammicus, Rhantus suturalis, Eretes griseus, Hydaticus bowringii, Agabus conspicuous, and Graphoderus adamsii; and 2 large-bodied species (>20 mm) comprising Cybister brevis and C. japonicus. The average 24-h predation rate was highest in medium-bodied species (>90%), followed by small-bodied species (31%) and large-bodied species (19%). The functional responses to Cx. tritaeniorhynchus larvae of 3 medium-bodied species (H. grammicus, R. suturalis, and E. griseus) were estimated. Eretes griseus exhibited the highest attach rate and shortest prey-handling time, suggesting that medium-bodied diving beetles, especially E. griseus, may be efficient predators of mosquito larvae in rice fields.
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