The effects of prey mite suitability on several demographic characteristics of phytoseiid predators and the relationship of these effects to the potential of phytoseiid predators to control herbivorous mite populations are well documented. Evidence has also accumulated in the last 20 years demonstrating that phytoseiid predators utilize herbivorous prey mite-induced plant volatiles as olfactory cues in locating their herbivorous mite prey, but less well established is the predictability of reproductive success from the ability of the predators to utilize olfactory cues to locate their prey, and how these processes are related to the success of the predators as biological control agents of the herbivorous mite. In this study, we determined in laboratory no choice experiments, the development, survivorship and fecundity of the two neotropical phytoseiid predators Typhlodromalus manihoti Moraes and T. aripo DeLeon when feeding on three herbivorous mites, including the key prey species Mononychellus tanajoa (Bondar), and the two alternative prey species Oligonychus gossypii (Zacher) and Tetranychus urticae (Koch). Intrinsic rate of increase (rm) of T. aripo was 2.1 fold higher on M. tanajoa as prey compared with T. urticae as prey, while it was almost nil on O. gossypii. For T. manihoti, rm was 2.3 fold higher on M. tanajoa as prey compared with O. gossypii as prey, while reproduction was nil on T. urticae. An independent experiment on odor-related prey preference of the two predator species (Gnanvossou et al. 2002) showed that T. manihoti and T. aripo preferred odors from M. tanajoa-infested leaves to odors from O. gossypii-infested leaves. Moreover, both predator species preferred odors from M. tanajoa-infested leaves over those from T. urticae-infested leaves. As reported here, life history of the two predatory mites matches odor-related prey preference if the key prey species is compared to the two inferior prey species. The implications of our findings for the persistence of T. manihoti and T. aripo and biological control of M. tanajoa in the cassava agroecosystem in Africa are discussed.
|Journal||Experimental and Applied Acarology|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|
- cassava green mite