International Journal of Agricultural Policy and Research
Vol.2 (2),pp.049-054,February 2014
Article 13/ID/JPR134, 06 pages
Copyright © 2014 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article. Author(s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 International License
Original Research Paper
Multiple choice for mites: First food, then home
Accepted 5 January, 2014
Pia Parolin*, Cécile Bresch, Gauthier Ruiz and Christine Poncet
French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), Depepartment of Theoretical and Applied Ecology in Protected Environments and Agrosystems (TEAPEA), 1355, BP 167, 06903 Sophia Antipolis, France.
*Corresponding Author E-mail:Pia.Parolin(at)sophia.inra.fr
Tel.: +33 492 38 64 36
The use of biocontrol plants to enhance IPM is an alternative to pesticide use. The presence of predatory mites, employed to control pest mites, may be enhanced by the banker plants which bear domatia and by the addition of pollen as alternative food. Our objective was to understand whether the presence of domatia and added pollen influence the predatory mites’ selection of a leaf type of a certain plant species in a positive or negative way. We hypothesized that a leaf offering shelter in form of domatia is more attractive for predatory mites if food is available on the same plant, as compared to leaves without food in form of pollen or prey. We analyzed the preferences of the predatory mite, Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) californicus (McGregor) (Arachnida: Acari: Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae), commonly employed for biological pest control of the two-spotted spider mite. We offered two food options to N. californicus in an experiment lasting nine days on eight plant species considered as potential banker plants for N. californicus, two of them with domatia. On detached leaves in the laboratory, we compared the presence of mite on leaves with pollen and/or T. urticae as food and with/without domatia. There were clear differences of the number of mite individuals depending on the species of host plants and on food availability. The results of our study indicate that: (i) if available, the predatory mites prefer to be on the plants harboring T. urticae (roses and sweet pepper, Capsicum annuum), (ii) if only pollen is available, the two plant species which bear domatia are preferred (Vitis riparia and Viburnum tinus), and (iii) overall, the predatory mites prefer certain plant species where they can hide in domatia, even if their prey T. urticae is absent.
Key words: Neoseiulus californicus, Tetranychus urticae, acarodomatia, pollen, banker plants.