Egyptian Journal of Biology

The AJOL site is currently undergoing a major upgrade, and there will temporarily be some restrictions to the available functionality.
-- Users will not be able to register or log in during this period.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of Open Access journal articles will be available as always.
-- Full text (PDF) downloads of subscription based journal articles will NOT be available
We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please check back soon, as we will revert to usual policy as soon as possible.

Host preferences of aphidophagous hoverflies from field distribution of their larvae

H Sadeghi, G Rotheray, P Laska, F Gilbert


The patterns of occurrences among aphid colonies of the larvae of two species of highly polyphagous predatory hoverflies, Episyrphus balteatus (de Geer) and Syrphus ribesii (L.) (Diptera: Syrphidae), were assessed in three areas (Nottingham, Cardiff (UK) and the Czech Republic); in the last two sites, larvae of other syrphid species were also identified. The two syrphid species showed considerable diet overlap, their larvae using many of the same aphids as food, but with significant exceptions. Together with information from the literature, even for these very generalist species there was a consistent pattern of preference among aphid species. Most other species showed restricted preferences. Larvae were more frequent on developed aphid colonies than on colonies that were younger or had almost disappeared.

Keywords: food specificity; niche breadth; predatory insects; aphids; Syrphidae.
AJOL African Journals Online