The predator-prey interaction of five prey species with the assassin bug, Rhynocoris longifrons (Stål) (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) was assessed in a Y-shaped olfactometer and the prey preference was assessed in six-arm olfactometer provided with the bodyextracts in hexane. Although R. longifrons responded to all the hexane extracts of testedinsect pests, R. longifrons showed maximum response to the lepidopterans Spodoptera litura (F.) (6.67±1.18 min), Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) (5.17±0.89 min) and Achaea janata (L.) (4.42±1.04 min) followed by the coleopteran Mylabris indica (Thunberg) (3.00±0.82 min) and the least response to the hemipteran Dysdercus cingulatus (F.) (2.42±0.76 min).Thus, the present study clearly reveals the order of the host preference of R. longifrons to the tested hexane extracts of the taxonomically diverse insect pests.
This paper contributes the first hand information on the allelochemical interaction of Rhynocoris longifrons with its prey species Spodoptera litura, Helicoverpa armigera, Achea janata, Dysdercus cingulatus and Mylabris indica and reveals its prey preference. It also enables one to employ R. longifrons as a biocontrol agent against these insect pests.
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