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The outbreaks of mealybug, Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), have created problems to cotton crops in South Asia in the recent years. To control this menace, predatory potential of Chrysoperla carnea and Cryptolaemus montrouzieri larvae were investigated under laboratory conditions (27 ± 5° C and 65 ± 5% RH). The experiments were conducted in no choice (only first, second, or third instar larvae of mealybug were offered at a time) and choice (first, second, and third instar larvae were offered simultaneously) feeding tests. Both predators had high consumption rates, with C. montrouzeiri being the most voracious feeder. In the no choice feeding tests, third instar larvae of C. montrouzeiri devoured the highest mean number of first instar P. solenopsis (439.38) In the choice feeding tests, a similar number of first instar nymphs (410) were consumed. In both feeding tests, C. carnea devoured relatively fewer numbers of P. solenopsis than C. montrouzeiri. Manly's preference index suggested that the both predators preferred first instar nymphs of P. solenopsis over second or third instar nymphs. Furthermore, studies on developmental rate and fecundity revealed that first instar nymphs of P. solenopsis significantly reduced development time but increased the fecundity of both predators.
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