Evaluation of electrophoretic techniques to identify the prey of Coccinella septempunctata larvae

D. Kocholl & M.Traugott


The ladybird beetle Coccinella septempunctata is a well known and wide spread natural enemy in agricultural landscapes. Beside aphids also other insects may be important as food source for ladybirds. The identification of these trophic interactions, however, is difficult under field conditions.

The present project evaluates electrophoretic techniques to identify two prey species (Episyrphus balteatus, Syrphidae; Oulema melanopus, Chrysomelidae; both in larvae stage) by their enzyme bands in the gut of C. septempunctata larvae. Both prey species are hardly detectable via microscopic techniques, which highlight the necessity of alternative methods for prey detection.


Funding: University of Innsbruck, Regional Government of Tyrol




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