Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design



Committee Chair

Yong-Lak Park


Spined soldier bug, Podisus maculiventris (Say) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is a generalist predator feeding on more than 70 different insect species. P. maculiventris is noted for its potential for augmentative release against coleopteran and lepidopteran larvae. Successful mass rearing and determination of potential prey of a biological control agent are crucial factors that need consideration for success of a biological control agent in augmentative biological control. Firstly, study was conducted to investigate feeding behavior of P. maculiventris using yellow mealworm, Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae). Using different life stages of T. molitor that P. maculiventris could potentially feed on in mass rearing system, feeding preferences of P. maculiventris were determined. P. maculiventris significantly preferred to feed on large larvae against small larvae of T. molitor. The different stages of P. maculiventris differed significantly in terms of daily hemolymph consumption: fifth instars consumed the highest amount per day. Body mass of the adult P. maculiventris was positively correlated with amount of hemolymph consumed per day. Secondly, study was carried out to investigate the feeding preference and feeding ability of P. maculiventris on different types of larvae. Using smooth, hairy and coleopteran larvae, the feeding preferences of P. maculiventris were determined. Third instars, fifth instars and adults of P. maculiventris significantly preferred to feed on smooth larvae. The hairy larvae were the least preferred. P. maculiventris showed the highest ability to feed on smooth larval species followed by coleopteran and hairy larvae. The findings of this thesis have important implications for successful biological control using P. maculiventris.