, Volume 51, Issue 6, pp 753-768
Date: 16 Aug 2006

Evaluation of phytoseiid predators for control of western flower thrips on greenhouse cucumber

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Ten predatory mite species, all phytoseiids, were evaluated for control of western flower thrips (WFT), Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), on greenhouse cucumber. This study was done to further improve biological control of thrips on this crop. Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans) is at present used for biological control of thrips in greenhouses. Compared to this species, Typhlodromalus limonicus (Garman & McGregor), Typhlodromips swirskii (Athias-Henriot) and Euseius ovalis (Evans) reached much higher population levels resulting in a significantly better control of thrips. T. limonicus was clearly the best predator of WFT. Also Euseius scutalis (Athias-Henriot) increased to higher populations levels than N. cucumeris, but without controlling the thrips, probably because of an unequal distribution of this predator on the plant. Iphiseius degenerans (Berlese), Neoseiulus barkeri (Hughes), Euseius finlandicus (Oudemans) and Typhlodromus pyri (Scheuten) did not establish better than N. cucumeris. A non-diapausing exotic strain of N. cucumeris did not differ from the North European strain. The best performers in this study were all of sub-tropical origin. T. limonicus, T. swirskii and E. ovalis have good potentials for controlling not only thrips but also whiteflies. Factors affecting the efficacy of phytoseiids on greenhouse cucumbers are discussed.