[en] Animals ; Aphids/drug effects/growth & development ; Beetles/drug effects/growth & development ; Brassica napus/metabolism ; Female ; Food Chain ; Glucosinolates/metabolism/toxicity ; Host-Parasite Interactions/drug effects ; Insect Repellents/metabolism/toxicity ; Male ; Oviposition/drug effects ; Ovum/physiology ; Pest Control, Biological/methods ; Reproduction/drug effects/physiology ; Sex Attractants/metabolism/toxicity
[en] Secondary plant metabolites (allelochemicals) play a major role in plant-insect interactions. Glucosinolates (GLS) and their degradation products from Brassica species are attractants and feeding stimulants for Brassicaceae specialist insects but are generally repellent and toxic for generalist herbivores. The impact of these compounds on crucifer specialist insects are well known but their effect on generalist predators is still not well documented. Prey host plant influence on reproduction of an aphidophagous beneficial, the two spot ladybird, was determined using the cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae reared on a crucifer plant, namely Brassica napus containing low GLS levels. As ladybird developmental and reproductive parameters were already shown to be strongly affected by the allelochemical presence in its preys, the unsuitable aphid and host plant combination was only momentary used to feed the A. bipunctata adults. A strong impact of the diet was observed on the beetle fecundity and the emerging offspring. Changing B. brassicae aphid to a suitable prey slowly improved the temporary negative effect of the former diet. These results enhance the food environmental effect and the importance of tritrophic relations in pest management strategies by predators. Indeed, more than the choice of the beneficial species, the prey host plant has a major influence on the potential efficacy of biological agent to control herbivore species such as aphids.