Molecular identification of spiders preying on Empoasca vitis in a tea plantation

Ting bang Yang, Jie Liu, Long yu Yuan, Yang Zhang, Dai qin Li, Ingi Agnarsson, Jian Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biological control using predators of key pest species is an attractive option in integrated pest management (IPM). Molecular gut analysis can provide an estimation of predator efficiency on a given prey. Here we use a combination of various experimental approaches, both in field and lab, to identify a potential biological control species of the common pest of commercially grown tea, Empoasca vitis (Göthe) (Hemiptera), in a Chinese plantation. We collected 2655 spiders from plantations and established relative abundances of spider species and their temporal overlap with the pest species in tea canopy. We analyzed DNA from 1363 individuals of the most common spider species using targeted RQ-PCR to quantify the potential efficiency of spiders as a predator on E. vitis. The results showed that, in the field, the jumping spider Evarcha albaria was the most abundant, had the closest temporal overlap with the pest, and frequently fed on it. Therefore, this spider may play a key role in pest suppression. The present study demonstrates the potential of our experimental approach to study predator-prey relationships in taxa that do not lend themselves to morphological identification of gut contents, such as spiders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7784
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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© 2017, The Author(s).

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