Information use by the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae), a specialised natural enemy of herbivorous spider mites

J.G. de Boer, M. Dicke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plants can respond to infestation by herbivores with the emission of specific herbivore-induced plant volatiles. Many carnivorous arthropods that feed on herbivorous prey use these volatiles to locate their prey. Despite the growing amount of research papers on the interactions in tritrophic systems, it has remained unclear how carnivorous arthropods use herbivore-induced plant volatiles in prey-location. We investigated three important aspects of information use by the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis, a specialised natural enemy of herbivorous spider mites. First, we showed that the foraging efficiency of predatory mites was not hampered by the presence of volatiles induced by non-prey caterpillars on brussels sprouts plants. Second, we revealed an important role for the volatile compound methyl salicylate. Predatory mites appear to use the presence of this compound, rather than its relative contribution to a volatile blend, to discriminate between two volatile blends. Third, we demonstrated that the role of methyl salicylate in the foraging behaviour of P. persimilis depends on previous experiences of the predators with this compound. Our research improves the understanding of the selection pressures that act on the foraging responses of carnivorous arthropods, and consequently on the selection pressures on volatile emission by plants in response to herbivory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalApplied Entomology and Zoology
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • induced plant volatiles
  • amblyseius-womersleyi acari
  • tritrophic interaction webs
  • tetranychus-urticae acari
  • brussels-sprouts plants
  • infested pear trees
  • anthocorid predators
  • cotton plants
  • cotesia-marginiventris
  • microplitis-croceipes

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