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Predation potential of the water bugs Sphaerodema rusticum on the sewage snails Physa acuta
Published in Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz
PMID: 12118286
Volume: 97
Issue: 4
Pages: 531 - 534
The sewage snail Physa acuta is a serious threat to certain economic plants and to the purification plant of sewage works by rendering the biofilters ineffective. Various attempts are being made to control it. The efficacy of the predacious water bugs Sphaerodema rusticum was judged experimentally, in the laboratory in the potential control of P. acuta. It is revealed that, when supplied separately, the first, second and third instar and the adult S. rusticum did not attack P. acuta belonging to 3.1-8 mm, 5.1-8 mm, 7.1-8 mm and ≤ 3 mm size classes respectively. In the remaining trials predation rate varied from zero to eight (average 2.3) individuals per predator per day. In experiments with P. acuta belonging to all the size classes supplied together, none, except the first instar S. rusticum, attacked the prey individuals belonging to the lowest (≤ 3 mm) size class. The first and second instar S. rusticum, in both trials did not attack P. acuta larger than 4 mm and 5 mm in shell length respectively. The water bugs belonging to the third, fourth, fifth instar and adult stages though preyed upon P. acuta with 3.1-8 mm shell length. The average rate of predation by a single S. rusticum varied from 0.14-3.08 individuals per day depending upon the size of P. acuta and the stage of S. rusticum. A single S. rusticum, irrespective of instar and adult stages, destroyed on average 4.16 P. acuta daily irrespective of sizes. It is estimated that one S. rusticum could destroy 1,360 P. acuta in its life time. The results clearly indicate that the water bug S. rusticum may be used to control the snails P. acuta.
About the journal
JournalMemorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
PublisherFundacao Oswaldo Cruz
Open AccessNo