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Life history of the predatory mites Neoseiulus paspalivorus and Proctolaelaps bickleyi, candidates for biological control of Aceria guerreronis

  • L. M. Lawson-BalagboEmail author
  • M. G. C. GondimJr
  • G. J. de Moraes
  • R. Hanna
  • P. Schausberger
Article

Abstract

The eriophyoid mite Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Eriophyidae), commonly called the coconut mite, is a key pest of coconut fruits. Surveys conducted on coconut palms in Brazil revealed the predatory mites Neoseiulus paspalivorus DeLeon (Phytoseiidae) and Proctolaelaps bickleyi Bram (Ascidae) as the most commonly associated natural enemies of A. guerreronis on coconut fruits. However, virtually nothing is known about the life history of these two predators. We conducted laboratory experiments at 25 ± 0.1°C, 70–90% RH and 12:12 h L:D photoperiod to determine the life history characteristics of the two predatory mites when feeding on A. guerreronis and other potential food sources present on coconut fruits such as Steneotarsonemus furcatus DeLeon (Tarsonemidae), coconut pollen and the fungus Rhizopus cf. stolonifer Lind (Mucoraceae). In addition, the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch (Tetranychidae) was tested for its suitability as prey. Both predators, N. paspalivorus and P. bickleyi, thrived on A. guerreronis as primary food source resulting in shorter developmental time (5.6 and 4.4 days, respectively), higher oviposition rate (1.7 and 7.0 eggs/female/day, respectively) and higher intrinsic rate of increase (0.232 and 0.489 per female/day, respectively) than on any other diet but were unable to develop or lay eggs when fed T. urticae. Coconut pollen and S. furcatus were adequate alternative food sources for N. paspalivorus and Rhizopus for P. bickleyi. We discuss the relevance of our findings for natural and biological control of the coconut mite A. guerreronis.

Keywords

Coconut Aceria guerreronis Neoseiulus paspalivorus Proctolaelaps bickleyi Natural control Biological control 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank A. Tounou, K. K. M. Fiaboe, D. Hoffmann, K. Negloh and A. Walzer for comments on the manuscript. We are also are grateful to W. S. Melo and C. A. Domingos for their helpful assistance during this work. This work was supported by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) through a grant from the Austrian Government and by in-kind contribution from IITA, ESALQ, Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz, Piracicaba-Sao Paulo, Brazil and the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria. This work is part of the PhD thesis of the senior author.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. M. Lawson-Balagbo
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • M. G. C. GondimJr
    • 2
  • G. J. de Moraes
    • 3
  • R. Hanna
    • 1
  • P. Schausberger
    • 4
  1. 1.International Institute of Tropical AgricultureBiological Control Centre for AfricaCotonouBenin
  2. 2.Departamento de AgronomiaUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Depto. Ent. Fitop.e Zool. AgrícolaEscola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz-Universidade de São PauloPiracicabaBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Applied Plant Sciences and Plant Biotechnology, Institute of Plant ProtectionUniversity of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesViennaAustria

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