Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 337–362 | Cite as

Economic threshold for Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) in clementine mandarins Citrus clementina

  • Sara Pascual-Ruiz
  • Ernestina Aguilar-Fenollosa
  • Victoria Ibáñez-Gual
  • Mónica A. Hurtado-Ruiz
  • M. Teresa Martínez-Ferrer
  • Josep A. Jacas


Tetranychus urticae is a key pest of citrus in Spain, especially of clementine mandarin trees. The effects of this mite on fruit production were assessed in 24 clementine trees for three consecutive years. Trees were visited weekly and spider mite and phytoseiid mite populations and leaf flush patterns were estimated. At the end of the season, mandarins were harvested, weighed, and mite damage (scarring on the fruit) characterized. Negative relationships between spider mite density and yield (kg/tree) and fruit damage (% scarred fruit rind) were found. The multivariate regressions highlighted the key role of phytoseiid mites and leaf flush patterns, which were negatively related to fruit damage. The shortest sampling period that satisfactorily predicted fruit damage at harvest, extended from August to mid-October. For IPM purposes, an action threshold of 31.1 mites m−2 of symptomatic leaf was estimated. Taking into account spider mite dynamics, the economic threshold ranged from 10 to 15 mites m−2 of symptomatic leaf. When this threshold is exceeded growers would have a 1-week window to apply the control technologies against T. urticae of their choice.


IPM Spider mites Fruit damage Cosmetic threshold Economic injury level Phytoseiidae Citrus 



The authors thank J.E. Peña (TREC-UF, Florida, US) for critical comments on an earlier version of this manuscript, A. Benajes and M.J. Garcés (COCALNI, Les Alqueries) for providing the study orchard, and M.T. Pina, O. Dembilio, C. Pérez-Sayas (UJI) for helping during harvest. This work was partially funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (projects AGL2004-07464-C03-01, AGL2005-07155-C03, AGL2008-05287-C04-03/AGR and AGL2011-30538-C03-01). S.P.R. and E.A.F. were recipients of a predoctoral grant from MICINN and UJI, respectively.


  1. Abad-Moyano R, Pina T, Dembilio O, Ferragut F, Urbaneja A (2009) Survey of natural enemies of spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae) in citrus orchards in eastern Spain. Exp Appl Acarol 47:49–61PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aguilar-Fenollosa E, Ibáñez-Gual MV, Pascual-Ruiz S, Hurtado M, Jacas JA (2011) Effect of ground-cover management on spider mites and their phytoseiid natural enemies in clementine mandarin orchards (II): top-down regulation mechanisms. Biol Control 59:171–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agustí M, Almela V, Pons J (1992) Effects of girdling on alternate bearing in citrus. J Hortic Sci 67:203–210Google Scholar
  4. Ansaloni T, Pascual-Ruiz S, Hurtado M, Jacas JA (2008) Can summer and fall vegetative growth regulate the incidence of Tetranychus urticae Koch on clementine fruit? Crop Prot 27:459–464CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Aucejo-Romero S, Gómez-Cadenas A, Jacas-Miret JA (2004) Effects of NaCl-stressed citrus plants on life-history parameters of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae). Exp Appl Acarol 33:55–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. California Agricultural Statistics Service (2012) California citrus acreage report. Accessed 20 May 2013
  7. European Union (2009) Directive 2009/128/EC of the European parliament of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for Community action to achieve sustainable use of pesticides. Off J Eur Communities Legis 309:71–86Google Scholar
  8. FAOSTAT (2013) Food and agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed 20 May 2013
  9. Ferragut F, Santonja MC (1989) Taxonomía y distribución de los ácaros del género Tetranychus Dufour 1832 (Acari: Tetranychidae), en España. Bol San Veg Plagas 15:271–281Google Scholar
  10. Ferragut F, Pérez Moreno I, Iraola V, Escudero A (2010) Ácaros depredadores en las plantas cultivadas, familia Phytoseiidae. Ediciones Agrotécnicas, MadridGoogle Scholar
  11. Generalitat Valenciana (2008) Normes per a la producció integrada de cítrics en el àmbit de la Comunitat Valenciana. Diari Oficial de la Generalitat Valenciana 5901:88055–88096. Accessed 19 October 2012
  12. Gutiérrez J (1985) Mounting Techniques. In: Helle W, Sabelis M (eds) Spider mites: their biology, natural enemies and control, vol 1A. Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, pp 351–353Google Scholar
  13. Hare JD (1994) Sampling arthropod pests in citrus. In: Pedigo LP, Buntin GD (eds) Handbook of sampling methods for arthropod pests in agriculture. CRC Press Inc, Florida, pp 417–431Google Scholar
  14. Jacas JA, García-Marí F (2001) Side-effects of pesticides on selected natural enemies occurring in Spain. Integrated control in citrus fruit crops. IOBC/WPRS Bull 24:103–112Google Scholar
  15. Jacas JA, Urbaneja A (2010) Biological control in citrus in Spain: from classical to conservation biological control. In: Ciancio A, Mukerji KG (eds) Integrated management of arthropod pests and insect borne diseases, 5th edn. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 57–68Google Scholar
  16. Jacas JA, Karamaouna F, Vercher R, Zappalà L (2010) Citrus pest management in the northern Mediterranean basin: Spain, Italy and Greece. In: Ciancio A, Mukerji KG (eds) Integrated management of arthropod pests and insect borne diseases, 5th edn. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 3–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. MAGRAMA (2004) ORDEN APA/1657/2004, de 31 de mayo, por la que se establece la norma técnica específica de la identificación de garantía nacional de producción integrada de cítricos. Boletín Oficial del Estado 137: 20684–20747. Accessed 20 May 2013
  18. MAGRAMA (2012) Anuario de Estadística Agraria 2011. Accessed 20 May 2013
  19. Martínez-Ferrer MT, Jacas JA, Ripollés JL (2004) La araña roja Tetranychus urticae: métodos de muestreo y umbrales económicos de tratamiento en clementinos. Phytoma España 164:53–58Google Scholar
  20. Martínez-Ferrer MT, Jacas-Miret JA, Ripollés-Moles JL, Aucejo-Romero S (2006a) Sampling plans for Tetranychus urticae (Acari:Tetranychidae) for IPM decisions on clementines in Spain. Integrated control in citrus fruit crops. IOBC/WPRS Bull 29:51Google Scholar
  21. Martínez-Ferrer MT, Jacas JA, Ripollés-Moles JL, Aucejo-Romero S (2006b) Approaches for sampling the two spotted spider mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) on clementines in Spain. J Econ Entomol 99:1490–1499PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pedigo LP, Hutchins SH, Higley LG (1986) Economic injury levels in theory and practice. Annu Rev Entomol 31:341–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Peterson RKD, Higley LG (2002) Economic decision levels. In: Pimentel D (ed) Encyclopedia of pest management. CRC Press, New York, pp 228–230Google Scholar
  24. R Development Core Team (2011) R: a language and environment for statistical computing version 2.14.2, R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna. Accessed 05 October 2011
  25. Ripollés JL, Marsà M, Martínez M (1995) Desarrollo de un programa de control integrado de las plagas de los cítricos en las comarcas del Baix Ebre-Montsià. Levante Agrícola 332:232–248Google Scholar
  26. Sá Argolo P, Banyuls N, Santiago S, Mollá O, Jacas JA, Urbaneja A (2013) Compatibility of Phytoseiulus persimilis and Neoseiulus californicus (Acari: Phytoseiidae) with imidacloprid to manage clementine nursery pests. Crop Prot 43:175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stern VM, Smith RF, van den Bosch R, Hagen KS (1959) The integrated control concept. Hilgardia 29:81–101Google Scholar
  28. Urbaneja A, Pascual-Ruiz S, Pina T, Abad-Moyano R, Vanaclocha P, Montón H, Castañera P, Jacas JA (2008) Efficacy of some acaricides against Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) and their natural side-effects on selected natural enemies occurring in citrus orchards. Pest Manag Sci 64:834–842PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Urbaneja A, Chueca P, Montón H, Pascual-Ruiz S, Dembilio O, Vanaclocha P, Abad-Moyano R, Castañera P (2009) Chemical alternatives to malathion for controlling Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae), and their side effects on natural enemies in Spanish citrus orchards. J Econ Entomol 102:44–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Urbaneja A, Planes L, Catalán J, and Jacas JA (2013) Plagas principales, Tetraníquidos, Métodos de muestreo y umbrales de la araña roja (Tetranychus urticae). Accessed 20 May 2013
  31. Venables WN, Ripley BD (2002) Modern applied statistics with S. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Pascual-Ruiz
    • 1
  • Ernestina Aguilar-Fenollosa
    • 1
  • Victoria Ibáñez-Gual
    • 2
  • Mónica A. Hurtado-Ruiz
    • 1
  • M. Teresa Martínez-Ferrer
    • 3
  • Josep A. Jacas
    • 1
  1. 1.Unitat Associada d’Entomologia UJI-Institut Valencià d’Investigacions Agràries (IVIA)Universitat Jaume I (UJI)Castelló de la PlanaSpain
  2. 2.Departament de MatemàtiquesUniversitat Jaume ICastelló de la PlanaSpain
  3. 3.Estació Experimental de l’EbreInstitut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentària (IRTA)AmpostaSpain

Personalised recommendations