We investigated the feeding behavior-stimulating properties of starch and related substances, namely, rice starch, soluble starch, amylopectin, and d-glucose, in the mirid bugs Trigonotylus caelestialium (Kirkaldy) and Stenotus rubrovittatus (Matsumura). Using an electrical penetration graph, feeding behaviors were roughly categorized into three distinct processes: test probing, ingestion, and resting. Rice starch strongly stimulated the feeding behavior of S. rubrovittatus at all concentrations tested (10–50%), prompting an increase in ingestion behavior and a decrease in resting behavior. Rice starch stimulated the feeding behavior of T. caelestialium at a concentration of 10%. Soluble starch also elicited feeding-stimulant activity in S. rubrovittatus at all concentrations tested (10–30%), but did not stimulate feeding behavior at any concentration tested in T. caelestialium. Amylopectin, a main component of rice starch, showed feeding-stimulant activity in S. rubrovittatus only at a concentration of 10%. In T. caelestialium, amylopectin did not stimulate ingestion, but did decrease resting behavior. d-Glucose, the building block of amylopectin, stimulated feeding behavior in S. rubrovittatus, leading to an increase in the duration and frequency of ingestion at concentrations of 10% and 10–20%, respectively. These findings indicate that starch is one of the main feeding stimulants for rice-ear bugs, particularly S. rubrovittatus.
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