Plutella xylostella (L.) is susceptible to both the entomopathogen Bacillus thuringiensis and the predator, Brazilian spined soldier bug [Podisus nigrispinus (Dallas)]. The objective of this study was to measure the interaction between the bacterium B. thuringiensis and the predator P. nigrispinus. We also studied the behavior of P. nigrispinus in relation to its choice between B. thuringiensis-infected and healthy P. xylostellais larvae. In the first treatment, P. nigrispinus nymphs were fed daily with B. thuringiensis-infected P. xylostella larvae and distilled water. In the second treatment, nymphs were fed daily with healthy larvae and a suspension of B. thuringiensis as a source of water. The control nymphs were fed daily with healthy larvae and water. Adult P. nigrispinus were separated by sex, couples were formed, and they were fed daily with P. xylostelL• larvae derived from the treatments. We followed the development of P. nigrispinus and measured its biological characteristics. On the basis of these data, parameters were determined for the construction of life tables. A choice test was used to compare infected and healthy larvae. The HD1 strain of B. thuringiensis does not affect the biological characteristics of P. nigrispinus when fed infected larvae and water or healthy larvae and B. thuringiensis suspension. Our study shows that integrated management of P. xylostella, a pest of the Brassicaceae, is feasible by using the HD1 strain of B. thuringiensis and the predator P. nigrispinus, because the predator shows no preference for infected or healthy P. xylostella larvae.
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Vol. 41 • No. 6