Accepted: 1st December 2016, Published: 31st December 2016
Various ladybeetles, including Hippodamia variegata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), are potential biological control agents worldwide. Recent studies in Sudan proved that H. variegata is widely distributed. This research aimed to trail the habitat, breeding times and seasonal multiplication of this predator during the periods 2001-2005 and 2010-2015 in Khartoum State. The breeding times were tackled in two consecutive years via regular surveys of adults and immature stages on two major crops viz., Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Such stages were separately recorded and compared. The results showed wide habitat diversity especially in winter. A total of 31 major hosts (cultivated and wild) harboring the predator was recorded, on which a sum of ˃ 20 prey species were attacked. Higher multiplication of H. variegata was found on the field crops than on the vegetables investigated. The highest breeding and abundance of H. variegata on S. bicolor was between January–April, whereas on M. sativa it occurred primarily between February–June and to some extent secondly in September. In the other months reduced population of all stages were detected on both crops, with the least number almost found in December and August. However, the number of immature stages was comparable with or exceeded the number of adults in mid winter (January-February) and end of autumn (September–October) on sorghum and alfalfa, respectively. The conditions in both autumn and winter seasons seemed to enhance the multiplication of this predator, though mechanical suppression occurs during heavy rains. It is concluded that H. variegata breeds successfully on different crops throughout the year without any noticeable resting period in the studied area, a fact that certainly adds to its potential value in pest management.
Keywords: Coccinellid, aphidophagous, Adonis’ ladybird, habitat diversity, seasonality.