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HS1001 Neoseiulus californicus McGregor: A Predatory Mite Species for Controlling Twospotted Spider Mites in Strawberries1 Silvia I. Rondon, James F. Price, Oscar E. Liburd, Roger Francis, Daniel J. Cantliffe2 1. This document is HS1001, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: November 2004. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Silvia I. Rondon, adjunct research associate, Horticultural Sciences Department; James F. Price, associate professor, GCREC-Bradenton; Oscar E. Liburd, assistant professor, Entomology and Nematology Department; Roger Francis, Clemson Extension Service, St. Charleston, South Carolina; Daniel J. Cantliffe, professor and chair, Horticultural Sciences Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean Neoseiulus californicus McGregor (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is an oblong, tiny, mobile, predatory mite that feeds on a variety of prey (Fig. 1). It belongs to the suborder Acariforme in the Acari order. The division includes more than 30,000 described species included in the ancient group of Arachnida (Krantz, 1978). Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Arachnida Order: Acari Family: Phytoseiidae Genus: Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) Species: californicus Figure 1. Adult of Neoseiulus californicus (0.1 mm in length X 0.06 mm in width). Credits: E. Jovicich, UF/IFAS Neoseiulus californicus occurs in warm humid areas of the U.S., South America, Europe, and elsewhere around the Mediterranean Sea (Malais and Ravensberg, 2003; McMurty, 1982). This predatory mite is associated with several agricultural cropping systems including strawberries, raspberries, roses, grapes, citrus, ornamentals, and vegetables (Rondon et al. 2004; Liburd et al. 2003; Hoddle, 2000; Johnson and Lyon, 1991).
Neoseiulus californicus McGregor: A Predatory Mite Species for Controlling Twospotted.... 2 Host Range Neoseiulus californicus feeds on important fruits and ornamental pests such as the twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) (Fig. 2), broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus (Stenotarsonemus) latus Banks) (Fig. 3), cyclamen mite (Tarsonemus pallidus L.) (Fig. 4 and Fig. 5), and other mite species (Hoddle, 2000). Figure 2. Group of twospotted spider mite adults and eggs, (0.15 mm in length X 0.1 mm in width). Credits: J.F. Price and S.I. Rondon, UF/IFAS Figure 3. Broad mite (0.02 mm in length X 0.01 mm in width). Arrow shows the egg. Credits: J. Castellanos, UF/IFAS Figure 4. Cyclamen mite feeding on strawberry plants. Credits: J. Castellanos, UF/IFAS Figure 5. Cyclamen mite damage, petioles are short and leaves are thickened and wrinkled. Credits: J.F. Price, UF/IFAS Life Cycle and Biology Neoseiulus californicus possesses three life stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Eggs are oblong (football shape), small, and pale. The two nymphal instars are the protonymph and the deuteronymph. Nymphs and adults are translucent. Nymphs have three pairs of legs while adults have four pairs. At 25-27C (77-81F), the life cycle can be completed in 10-12 days (Table 1). Females are slightly larger than males and lay approximately three eggs per day. The life-span of the adult is about 20 days (McMurtry and Croft, 1997; Krantz, 1978). The upper and lower temperature limits for N. californicus developmental range are 10-33C (50-91F) (Malais and Ravensberg, 2003). Neoseiulus californicus shows a feeding preference for the larval and nymphal stages of the twospotted spider mite when the pest is present at low densities (Malais and Ravenberg, 2003). However, N. californicus can survive for a few days without eating a prey by feeding solely on a diet of pollen (Malais and Ravensberg, 2003).
Neoseiulus californicus McGregor: A Predatory Mite Species for Controlling Twospotted.... 3 Neoseiulus californicus as a Biological Control Agent: Application of Predatory Mites Predatory mites have been used as an alternative to miticides on a variety of crops including strawberries (Rondon et al., 2004; Liburd et al., 2003, Giles et al., 1995, Van de Vrie and Price, 1994; Trumble and Morse, 1993), avocado (Hoddle et al., 1999), and other crops (Beard, 1999). Recommended release rates depend upon pest infestation level and crop, but one predatory mite per plant is the current recommendation suggested on strawberries for low infestations (1-5% twospotted spider mite infestation) to moderate infestations (6-10% twospotted spider mite infestation) (Fig.6). Releases in temperatures below 7.2C (45F) or above 29.5C (85F) should be avoided. Control of twospotted spider mite populations should start early because they reproduce quickly at high temperatures and low humidity. To scout a crop, one should select 100 leaflets per field (about 5-12 acres) randomly on a weekly basis. The undersides of leaves should be examined for the presence of twospotted spider mite with the aid of a 14 X hand lenses. If populations of twospotted spider mites exceed 10% before predatory mites have been released, a compatible miticide, such as Acramite or Vendex, should be applied to reduce the pest density. Figure 6. Demonstrating how to release predatory mites in the field. Credits: S.I. Rondon, UF/IFAS Literature Cited Beard, J.J. 1999. Taxonomy and Biological Control: Neoseiulus cucumeris (Acari: Phytoseiidae), a Case Study. Australian Journal of Entomology. 38:51-59. Castagnoli, M. and S. Simoni. 1991. Influenza Della Temperature Sullincremento Delle Popolazioni di Amblyseius californicus (McGregor) (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Redia 74(2):621-640. Giles, D.K., J. Gardner, and H.E. Studer. 1995. Mechanical Releases of Predacious Mites for Biological Pest Control in Strawberries. Trans. Amer. Soc. Agric. Engin. 38:1289-1296. Hoddle, M.S. 2000. Using Neoseiulus californicus for Control of Persea Mite. California Avocado Research Symposium. Univ. Calif. Riverside. No 787-4714. Hoddle, M.S., O. Aponte, V. Kerguelen, and J. Heraty. 1999. Biological Control of Oligonychus perseae (Acari: Tetranychidae) on Avocado: Evaluating Release Timing, Recovery, and Efficacy of Six Commercially Available Phytoseiids. Internat. J. Acarol. 25:211-219. Johnson, W.T. and H.H. Lyon. 1991. Insects that Feed on Trees and Shrubs. 2nd Edition. Comstock Publishing Associates. 560 p. Krantz, G.W. 1978. A Manual of Acarology. Corvallis, Oregon State University, OR. 509 p. Liburd, O.E, G.G. Seferina, and D.A. Dinkins. 2003. Suppression of Twospotted Spider Mites. In: UF/IFAS, Berry/Vegetable Times. November 2003. Malais, M.H. and W.J. Ravensberg. 2003. Knowing and Recognizing: the Biology of Glasshouse Pests and Their Natural Enemies. Koppert B.V. and Reed Business Information. 288 pp. McMurtry, J. and B. Croft. 1997. Life Styles of Phytoseiid Mites and Their Roles as Biological Control Agents. Ann. Rev. Entomol. 42:291-321.
Neoseiulus californicus McGregor: A Predatory Mite Species for Controlling Twospotted.... 4 McMurtry, J.A. 1982. The Use of Phytoseiids for Biological Control: Progress and Future Prospects, pp. 23-48. In: Recent Advances in Knowledge of the Phytoseiidae. M. Hoy (Ed.). Univ. Calif. Press, Berkeley, Pub. 3284. Rondon, S.I., D.J. Cantliffe, and J.F. Price. 2004. Best Management Practices Started the Strawberry Season. In: UF/IFAS, Berry/Vegetable Times. February 2004. Trumble, J.T. and J.P. Morse. 1993. Economics of Integrating the Predaceous Mite Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) with Pesticides in Strawberries. Hort. Entomol. 86(3):879-885. Van de Vrie, M. and J.F. Price. 1994. Manual for Biological Control of Twospotted Spider Mites on Strawberry in Florida. UF/IFAS-GCREC. DOV-1994-1.
Neoseiulus californicus McGregor: A Predatory Mite Species for Controlling Twospotted.... 5 Table 1. Developmental time of Neoseiulus californicus McGregor at 21, 25, and 33C (70, 77, 91F, respectively) with the twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, as a food supply (modified from Castagnoli and Somini 1991). Developmental Stage (Days*) Temperature (C) 21 25 33 Egg 3.1* 2.2 1.6 Larva 1.0 0.8 0.3 Protonymph 2.0 1.7 1.0 Deuteronymph 1.4 1.2 0.8 Total egg-adult 7.5 5.9 3.7 Total egg/female 64 60 65 Eggs/female/day 1.9 2.9 3.5 (Relative humidity of 75%)