Gut content examination of the citrus predator assemblage for the presence of Homalodisca vitripennis remains
A two-year study was conducted in a citrus orchard, Citrus sinensis L., to determine frequency of predation on glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS), Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar). A total of 1,578 arthropod predators, representing 18 taxa, were collected and assayed for the presence of GWSS egg protein by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using a Homalodisca-species and egg-specific monoclonal antibody and then by polymerase chain reaction using a H. vitripennis-specific DNA marker. The gut content analyses revealed the presence of GWSS remains in the gut of 2.28 % of the total arthropod predator population, with 3.09 % of the spiders and 0.59 % of the insect predators testing positive. Moreover, a comparison of the two assays indicated that they were not equally effective at detecting GWSS remains in predator guts. Low frequencies of GWSS detection in the gut of predators indicated that GWSS are not a primary prey and that predators may contribute little to suppression of this pest in citrus.