Dispersal of the broad mite, Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) on Bemisia argentifolii (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae)
The broad mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks) and silverleaf whitefly Bemisia argentifolii Bellows & Perring (=B strain of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius)) have many common host plants. It was found that broad mites can attach themselves to B. argentifolii adults and use them as a carrier for their dispersal. In a cage experiment, we observed that more than 80% of B. argentifolii adults had more than one broad mite attached within 4 h after B. argentifolii landed on broad mite-infested plants. Overall, 97.5% of the broad mites examined were attached to the legs, mostly on the tibiae and tarsi of B. argentifolii adults, and 99.5% of the broad mites attached to B. argentifolii were adult females. The successful dispersal of broad mite via B. argentifolii was also demonstrated with a cage experiment.