The coccinellid Tenuisvalvae notata (Mulsant) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) has been observed recently in association with the striped mealybug Ferrisia virgata Cockerell (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) and the false cochineal scale Dactylopius opuntiae Cockerell (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) in the semiarid region of Pernambuco, Brazil. The latter species are important pests of cotton and prickly pear, respectively. In this study, we tested the two scale insects as prey for T. notata. In addition, eggs of Anagasta kuehniella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) were tested as possible alternative prey for rearing T. notata. In this work, the survivorship, reproduction, and predation of T. notata were investigated. The coccinellid T. notata was able to complete development only on F. virgata with 83% larval and pupal viability. Females of T. notata fed F. virgata produced 7.6 eggs a day with an eclosion rate of 61.9%. No oviposition occurred while feeding on A. kuehniella eggs. The highest consumption rate of F. virgata occurred during the last larval instar. Our results support the use of T. notata as an agent for the biological control of F. virgata, a highly polyphagous pest worldwide.
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