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Psyche
Volume 2014, Article ID 176539, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/176539
Research Article

Cryptocephaline Egg Case Provides Incomplete Protection from Generalist Predators (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)

Faculty of Life Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Lentzeallee 55/57, 14195 Berlin, Germany

Received 14 September 2014; Accepted 15 December 2014; Published 30 December 2014

Academic Editor: Jan Klimaszewski

Copyright © 2014 Matthias Schöller. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The egg case of Cryptocephalus rufipes (Goeze) is described and illustrated. In laboratory trials, eggs of field-collected C. rufipes were observed for larval emergence (untreated control) or exposed to two species of generalist predators, Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) or Xylocoris flavipes (Reuter) in no-choice experiments. The behaviour of the predators upon contact with the C. rufipes eggs was observed. The number of hatching larvae was counted and compared. In the presence of each of the two species of predators, larval emergence was significantly reduced. Eggs that were not protected by an egg case were completely consumed by the predators. C. rufipes eggs were therefore incompletely protected from the studied generalist predators. This is the first study showing experimentally the protective function of cryptocephaline egg case.