Podisus distinctus (Stäl, 1860) (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) is a predator of defoliating caterpillars of Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae). This South-American asopine can be reared in the laboratory using Tenebrio molitor L., 1758 (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) pupae as alternative prey and released in the field. The movement observed in T. molitor pupae can be a defensive strategy. This makes it significant to study the development and reproduction of asopine predatory stinkbugs using transected pupae of this prey. The aim was to evaluate the performance of P. distinctus with transected or non-transected T. molitor pupae in the laboratory. The ventral nerve cord of T. molitor pupae was transected utilizing surgical forceps (T1, transected pupae), while the control included non-transected pupae (T2, non-transected pupae). These pupae were offered to P. distinctus nymphs and adults. We evaluated the duration and body mass of instars III, IV and V; duration from instar V to the adult stage; body mass of the newly emerged adults; adult sex ratio; total number of egg masses, eggs per female and egg mass; total nymphs per female and egg mass; percentage of nymphs hatched; female longevity, and the pre-oviposition, oviposition and post-oviposition periods of this predator. The body mass of P. distinctus adults was 7.29% greater with the non-transected T. molitor pupae; however, the other parameters showed similar values between treatments. Non-transected T. molitor pupae are preferred for rearing the predator P. distinctus.
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Vol. 123 • No. 1-4