Intra- and interspecific predation by adult female Metaseiulus occidentalis and Typhlodromus pyri (Acari: Phytoseiidae) when provisioned with varying densities and ratios of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) and phytoseiid larvae

I. V. MacRae, B. A. Croft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The phytoseiid mites Metaseiulus occidentalis (Nesbitt) and Typhlodromus pyri Schueten are used together and alone as biological control agents against tetranychid pest mites of apple. Their effectiveness as control agents may be impacted by intraguild predation. The effects of prey species and prey density on the rates of inter- and intraspecific predation and oviposition by these two predators were investigated through a series of experiments. Adult female predators were given prey as mixed populations of phytoseiid larvae and larvae of a more preferred species, the spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, at different densities and ratios. Typhlodromus pyri, more of a generalist predator, showed higher rates of predation and cannibalism on phytoseiid immatures at most prey densities and ratios. Manly preference indices indicated that T. pyri switched to feed on phytoseiid larvae at higher prey levels and ratios of T. urticae than M. occidentalis. This greater ability to use phytoseiid larvae as prey may help stabilize T. pyri populations when more preferred prey is unavailable. This may, in part, explain the observed persistence of T. pyri populations when M. occidentalis populations were decreasing in orchard test plots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-246
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

Keywords

  • Biological control
  • cannibalism
  • competition
  • intraguild predation
  • predator guild

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