Generalist and sticky plant specialist predators suppress herbivores on a sticky plant

Billy A. Krimmel, Ian S. Pearse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glandular trichomes are conventionally viewed as a type of direct defense against herbivores that carry indirect costs associated with the exclusion of numerous predators. We tested the hypothesis that predators are ineffective on sticky plants using a predator that is adapted to sticky plants, the harpactorine assassin bug Pselliopus spinicollis Champion, and a common surrogate generalist predator in analogous studies, the coccinellid Hippodamia convergens Guerin. We tested their top–down effects on herbivores using sticky and non-sticky races of common madia plants (Asteraceae: Madia elegans) and their native herbivores, a noctuid moth (Noctuiidae: Heliothodes diminutiva Hodges) and an aphid (Aphididae: Uroleucon madia Swain). We report that both predators were effective at reducing herbivore abundances on sticky and non-sticky plants, with greater efficacy on sticky plants.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-410
Number of pages8
JournalArthropod-Plant Interactions
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 31 2014


  • INHS
  • Tritrophic
  • Indirect defense
  • Sticky plant specialist
  • Enemy-free space
  • Glandular trichomes
  • Natural enemies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Ecology


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