Herbivory Improves the Fitness of Predatory Beetles

Todd Ugine, Avneet Nagra, Robert Grebenok, Spencer Behmer & John Losey
While many predatory arthropods consume non-prey foods from lower trophic levels, little is known about what drives the shift from predator to omnivore. Predatory lady beetles often consume non-prey foods like plant foliage and pollen. One species, Coccinella septempunctata, eats foliage to redress sterol deficits caused by eating sterol-deficient prey. Here we explore how omnivory benefits lady beetle fitness. We reared seven species of lady beetles – from five genera distributed across the tribe Coccinellini...
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