Infochemical-mediated intraguild interactions among three predatory mites on cassava plants

D. Gnanvossou, R. Hanna, M. Dicke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Carnivorous arthropods exhibit complex intraspecific and interspecific behaviour among themselves when they share the same niche or habitat and food resources. They should simultaneously search for adequate food for themselves and their offspring and in the meantime avoid becoming food for other organisms. This behaviour is of great ecological interest in conditions of low prey availability. We examined by means of an olfactometer, how volatile chemicals from prey patches with conspecific or heterospecific predators might contribute to shaping the structure of predator guilds. To test this, we used the exotic predatory mites Typhlodromalus manihoti and T. aripo, and the native predatory mite Euseius fustis, with Mononychellus tanajoa as the common prey species for the three predatory mite species. We used as odour sources M. tanajoa-infested cassava leaves or apices with or without predators. T. manihoti avoided patches inhabited by the heterospecifics T. aripo and E. fustis or by conspecifics when tested against a patch without predators. Similarly, both T. aripo and E. fustis females avoided patches with con- or heterospecifics when tested against a patch without predators. When one patch contained T. aripo and the other T. manihoti, females of the latter preferred the patch with T. aripo. Thus, T. manihoti is able to discriminate between odours from patches with con- and heterospecifics. Our results show that the three predatory mite species are able to assess prey patch profitability using volatiles. Under natural conditions, particularly when their food sources are scarce, the three predatory mite species might be involved in interspecific and/or intraspecific interactions that can substantially affect population dynamics of the predators and their prey.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-90
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • biological-control
  • drosophila parasitoids
  • tetranychus-urticae
  • phytoseiid mites
  • manihoti acari
  • competition
  • prey
  • avoidance
  • behavior
  • africa


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