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Insect Predator-Prey Dynamics - Ladybird Beetles and Biological Control

A F G Dixon 
Cambridge University Press  2000  



Hardback  268 pages, illustrated  ISBN 9780521622035      £83.00


Softcover  268pp  ISBN 9780521017701      £33.00
Ladybird beetles have long been used in the biological control of insect pests, but as with many biological control agents, they have not always been succesful. This book explores the biology and interactions of these predators and their prey to develop a better understanding of what makes a successful predator for biological control. Much of our understanding about insect predator-prey dynamics has been due to studies on insect parasitoids. But do true predators such as ladybird beetles really operate in a similar way and how does this affect their use in biological control? The extensive literature on ladybirds as biocontrol agents shows that their size and rate of development is very dependent on the nature of their prey. This volume explores basic ladybird biology, their association with their prey and its effect on development rate and body size. Optimal foraging theory, field observations and laboratory experiments are used to illustrate how ladybird larvae maximise their rate of energy intake, and ladybird adults their fitness. The interdependence of these life history parameters is then used to develop a simple predator-prey model which, with an analysis of the literature, highlights the specific attributes of potentially successful biocontrol agents for all those interested in predator-prey dynamics. The book:

  • looks at the dynamics of true insect predators
  • is written by a world expert in aphids and their natural enemies
  • provides new insights into what makes a successful biological control agent.

It covers areas of entomology, population biology, insect ecology, pest management, biological control and agriculture making it suitable for both researchers and graduate students. The chapters are as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Basic biology and structure
  • Body size
  • Slow fast continuum in life history parameters
  • Foraging behaviour
  • Cannibalism
  • Theory of predator-prey interactions
  • Intraguild predation
  • Biological control
  • Epilogue
  • References
  • Index.

To find similar publications, click on a keyword below:
Cambridge University Press : agriculture & forestry : beneficials : biological control : crop protection : ecology : entomology : integrated crop protection : pest control

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