We used laboratory and field feeding trials to investigate adult carabid beetle preferences for three brassicaceous weed species (rapeseed, wild mustard, and field pennycress) that are pests in canola. All carabid species preferred seeds of rapeseed most and those of field pennycress least and showed intermediate preference for wild mustard seeds. Beetles highly preferred imbibed seeds of all three weed species. Activity–density of carabids and mean weed seed removal were highly correlated in field plots of canola, with activity–density accounting for 67% of the observed variation in seed removal. Our study indicates that seed consumption among carabids is influenced by several factors, including weed species, physiological state of seeds, and carabid activity–density. Carabid seed predation is significant in canola agroecosystems; therefore, understanding these influences has implications for ecological weed management.
Nomenclature: Field pennycress, Thlaspi arvense L. THLAR; rapeseed, Brassica napus L. BRSNN, wild mustard, Sinapis arvensis L. SINAR; canola, Brassica napus L.