A passive haemagglutination inhibition assay for the identification of stomach contents of invertebrate predators.

Published online
01 Jan 1977
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Greenstone, M. H.

Publication language
USA & California


A passive haemagglutination inhibition (PHI) test for the identification of stomach contents of invertebrate predators is described. When used in a system involving the wolf spider Pardosa ramulosa (McCook) preying on 3 insect species inhabiting brackish pools in the Petaluna Marsh in California (Aedes dorsalis (Mg.), Ephydra riparia Fall. and Trichocorixa reticulata (Guer.)), PHI was up to 2 orders of magnitude more sensitive than the precipitin tests while exhibiting intergeneric specificity. The facilities needed for PHI tests were about as elaborate as those used in precipitin testing; the main disadvantage of PHI was its requirement of a continuous source of antigen, which however can be supplied by culturing the prey species. The technique has been used to detect a wide variety of plant and animal materials, which suggests that it is generally applicable to studies of interactions between predator and prey regardless of prey taxon.

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