The abilities of phytoseiid mites to attack, reproduce, and control cyclamen mite on strawberry were assessed. Five species were tested in the laboratory, but only two species were used in later reproduction and pest control tests.
In laboratory feeding tests, Typhlodromus (=Neoseiulus) fallacis and N. californicus attacked the cyclamen mite most often; Amblyseius andersoni fed on the cyclamen mite most successfully; while Galendromus occidentalis had difficulty piercing the hardened body of adults. T. pyri was the most effective (net predation), followed by N. fallacis, N. californicus, A. andersoni, and C. occidentalis, respectively.
Because N. fallacis showed such high levels of predation in the lab test, only this mite and N. cucumeris, which has been proven to be effective against cyclamen mite, were studied further. Survival and immature production of N. fallacis when given cyclamen mite was only half of what it would be if feeding on a more preferred prey, twospotted spider mite. This was similar to the rates for N. cucumeris fed on cyclamen mite. When releases of N. fallacis or N. cucumeris were made on plants with moderate densities of cyclamen mites and twospotted spider mite, pests were controlled sooner and damage to plants was less with N. fallacis than N. cucumeris.
Releases of both phytoseiids on plants infested with high densities of only cyclamen mites produced fewer of either predator species than when both pests were present, but there was better pest control (less plant damage). Again, N. fallacis gave slightly better control than N. cucumeris.
Because N. fallacis gave more rapid control of both pests, it would be a good choice for release if rapid suppression is needed. N. cucumeris, however, may give better long-term regulation at lower densities. A mixed release may be a useful strategy: N. fallacis could reduce dense pest populations and N. cucumeris could keep them at low levels.
Croft, B. A., P. D. Pratt, G. Koskela, and D. Kaufman. 1998. Predation, reproduction, and impact of phytoseiid mites (Acari: Phytoseiidae) on cyclamen mite (Acari : Tarsonemidae) on strawberry. J. Econ. Entomol. 91(6): 1307-1314.
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