Intraguild predation (IGP) is a ubiquitous, important and common interaction that occurs in aphidophagous guilds. The effects of extraguild prey (EGP, i.e., aphids) density, predator life stage combinations and duration of the interaction on the level, asymmetry and direction of intraguild predation between lacewing Chrysoperla carnea and ladybird Hippodamia variegata were examined in simple laboratory arena and more complex microcosm environment. Three initial densities of 50, 150 and 400 Aphis fabae third instar nymphs and a control without aphids were provided to six combinations of predator life stages (2nd and 3rd larval instars of lacewing and 3rd and 4th instars and adult females of ladybird). The remaining aphid density and occurrence of IGP were checked after 24, 48 and 72 h. The IGP intensity (IGP level, IL) was similar in the simple arena (reaching 0.6 between larvae in absence of EGP and 0.3 between lacewing larvae and ladybird females) and microcosm environment (0.3 without EGP). In both environments, increasing EGP density lowered IL according to negative exponential relationship. IGP was asymmetric (general average asymmetry was 0.82 in simple arena and 0.93 in microcosm, the difference was not significant) and mostly in favour of larvae of C. carnea, except in the combination of 2nd larvae of C. carnea with the 4th larvae and adults of H. variegata. The direction of IGP, but not other characteristics, partially changed during the duration of the experiment. The incidence of IGP interactions among aphid predators under real conditions and its consequences on aphid biological control are discussed.
Keywords: black bean aphid; competition; green lacewing; lady beetle; predator-predator interaction.