Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 111–128

Effects of photoperiod, temperature, food and relative humidity on the induction of diapause in the predatory miteAmblyseius potentillae

  • Yvonne M. van Houten
  • René L. Veenendaal

DOI: 10.1007/BF01194087

Cite this article as:
van Houten, Y.M. & Veenendaal, R.L. Exp Appl Acarol (1990) 10: 111. doi:10.1007/BF01194087


Aspects of the induction of diapause were studied in a Dutch strain of the phytoseiid miteAmblyseius potentillae. The photoperiodic response curve was of the long-day type, with a sharply defined critical daylength of 14.5 h. Critical daylength varied only little at temperatures between 15.0 and 22.5°C.

All post-embryonic and possibly even late-embryonic stages of development were found to be sensitive to photoperiod; sensitivity appeared to be maximal during the protonymphal stage.

It is shown that β-carotene is necessary for some early step in the physiological mechanism of photoperiodic induction, and not (or not exclusively) for the expression of the diapause response.

Two points of sensitivity to light could be demonstrated in the nights ofl∶d 13∶11 andl∶d 12∶12 long-night regimes, using 1-h night interruptions. These results are similar to those obtained in lightbreak experiments with spider mites and insects. However, no effect was found with light interruptions applied during the dark phase of anl∶d 10∶14 long-night regime.

In resonance experiments with a constant photophase (12 h) and a variable scotophase, a weak rhythmic response was found at 22.5°C; at 19.0°C this effect was completely absent.

The relative humidity experienced by the mites during diapause induction as well as during diapause development influenced the rate of diapause completion under long days (l∶d 16∶8). Diapause duration appeared to be shortest when the mites experienced low relative humidity (35±5%) during diapause induction and high relative humidity (75±5%) during diapause termination, and longest under the reverse conditions.

Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvonne M. van Houten
    • 1
  • René L. Veenendaal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pure and Applied EcologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands