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Forskningsartikel2008Vetenskapligt granskad

Tracking aphid predation by lycosid spiders in spring-sown cereals using PCR-based gut-content analysis

Kuusk, A. -K.; Cassel-Lundhagen, A.; Kvarnheden, A.; Ekbom, B.


Detection of prey DNA-remains in arthropod predators by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is useful when investigating food webs. In this study we estimated how long after a feeding event it was possible to detect mitochondrial COII DNA (331 bp) from an important aphid pest, Rhopdosiphum padi (Homoptera: Aphididae), in spiders of the genus Pardosa (Araneae: Lycosidae). Following laboratory evaluations We tested spiders collected in spring-sown cereals for aphid predation during, two seasons. Aphids were digested rapidly in laboratory-fed predators and the time point when prey DNA could be amplified from 50%, of the spiders was estimated to be 3.7 h. A total of 372 field- collected predators were analyzed by PCR and despite low aphid densities many spiders (26% in 2004 and 19% in 2005) tested positive for R. path, indicating consumption of at least one aphid within a few hours before capture. The percentage of spiders that tested positive for R. padi DNA varied considerably between fields and logistic regression analysis revealed that the probability of detecting aphid DNA was significantly influenced by location and year. We conclude that Pardosa spiders, under certain conditions, frequently feed on R. padi and deserve special attention in conservation biological control. (c) 2007 Gesellschaft fur Okologie. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Biological controls; Generalist predators; Pardosa; Prey DNA detection success; Rhopalosiphum padi

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Basic and Applied Ecology
2008, Volym: 9, nummer: 6, sidor: 718-725