The feeding behaviour of Pharoscymnus numidicus (Coccinellidae), predator of the date palm scale Parlatoria blanchardi
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 11(1): 30-42
The following is virtually the author's summary. The searching capacity of Pharoscymnus numidicus (Pic), determined in the laboratory in Israel by criteria of mobility and survival rates, increased with the age of the larvae. The searching pattern was of a random nature; the predator did not orientate towards its prey, Parlatoria blan-chardii (Targ.), and the direction of its movements was influenced by physical factors such as light. The ability to feed on alternative foods increased the chances of survival under conditions of natural food scarcity. In this respect, the cannibalistic behaviour of the Coccinellid is of particular importance. Its feeding capacity was dependent on instar, sex, history of the larvae in relation to amounts of food previously consumed, temperature and the population density of the host insect.