S. Villareal, J Catindig and K.L. Heong, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, Philippines
Planthopper egg mortality is important in keeping planthoppers from exploding into exponential growth that can lead to outbreaks. Their eggs are safely embedded into rice tillers and sealed and thus no insecticide can ever reach them. In the rice ecosystem only a few species can provide the services for egg mortality, 3 species of egg parasitoids and 1 species of egg predator. In most unsprayed rice fields, egg mortality can reach as much as 80 to 90%. The roles these species play are vital in pest management are often ignored and not appreciated resulting in indiscriminate use of insecticides, particularly organophosphates and pyrethroids. These egg specialists in the rice ecosystem are particularly susceptible to these insecticides because of their relative slender sizes and soft bodies. In addition their need to move in search of prey make them more vulnerable as they walk over fields sprayed with insecticides which are like mine fields.
It is quite a challenge to communicate egg predation and parasitism to non entomologists, especially since they are too small to observe with the naked egg. We videoed the parasitic actions of two parasitoid species earlier and here we show visually the predation actions of the mirid bug, Cyrtorhinus lividipennis.
The video on eggs predation by Cyrtorhinus lividipennis available on YouTube.
In China this is available in http://u.youku.com/biorice
The video playlist of the three species is also available. Click here.