Biological parameters of Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas) fed with third-instar Lepidoptera larvae of Spodoptera frugiperda J.E. Smith, Spodoptera cosmioides (Walker, 1858), and Anticarsia gemmatalis (Hübner, 1818), as well as eggs of Euschistus heros (F., 1798), the brown stink bug, were evaluated. Experiments were performed under controlled conditions (25 ± 1°C; 70 ± 10% relative humidity, and a photoperiod of 16:8 [L:D] h). P. nigrispinus had good nymphal development with >87% larval survival (viability), as well as high fecundity in adults, when fed with A. gemmatalis, S. frugiperda, and S. cosmioides larvae. Differently, adults of P. nigrispinus originating from nymphs fed with eggs of E. heros completed their life cycle; however, larval survival (viability) was reduced to 45.7%. Furthermore, these adults did not oviposit, and their body mass was from 50 to 73% lower than in individuals originating from nymphs fed with other tested prey. Taking into consideration that neither E. heros nor Spodoptera spp. are controlled by Bt soybean varieties expressing the Cry 1Ac protein, it can be assumed that the predator P. nigrispinus will still find prey species to feed in soybean fields even after the adoption of this pest control technology. This might help lower any potential negative impact of Bt soybean adoption above this insect predator. Moreover, the studied caterpillars proved to be potential prey for the predator's mass rearing, similarly to what is presently being done with coleopteran larvae.
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