Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 541–553 | Cite as

Dietary effects on body weight of predatory mites (Acari, Phytoseiidae)

  • Irina Goleva
  • Esteban C. Rubio Cadena
  • Nar B. Ranabhat
  • Caroline Beckereit
  • Claus P. W. ZebitzEmail author


Pollen is offered as alternative or supplementary food for predacious mites; however, it may vary in its nutritional value. Body weight appears a representative parameter to describe food quality. Thus, we assessed the body weight for adults of the generalist mites Amblyseius swirskii, Amblydromalus limonicus, and Neoseiulus cucumeris reared on 22, 12, and 6 pollen species, respectively. In addition, A. swirskii and A. limonicus was reared on codling moth eggs. In all mite species, female body weight was higher than that of males, ranging between 4.33 and 8.18 µg for A. swirskii, 2.56–6.53 µg for A. limonicus, and 4.66–5.92 µg for N. cucumeris. Male body weight ranged between 1.78 and 3.28 µg, 1.37–3.06 µg, and 2.73–3.03 µg, respectively. Nutritional quality of pollen was neither consistent among the mite species nor among sex, revealing superior quality of Quercus macranthera pollen for females of A. swirskii and Tulipa gesneriana pollen for males, Alnus incana pollen for females of A. limonicus and Aesculus hippocastanum pollen for males, and Ae. hippocastanum pollen for both sexes of N. cucumeris. The results are discussed against the background of known or putative pollen chemistry and mite’s nutritional physiology.


Amblyseius swirskii Amblydromalus limonicus Neoseiulus cucumeris Pollen Codling moth eggs Food quality 



The authors are indebted to Greta Ott and Josef Schreiber for their help in pollen collection. This study was in part supported by a PhD grant from the European commission Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window (IAMONET-RU).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irina Goleva
    • 1
  • Esteban C. Rubio Cadena
    • 1
  • Nar B. Ranabhat
    • 1
    • 2
  • Caroline Beckereit
    • 1
  • Claus P. W. Zebitz
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of PhytomedicineUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Department of Land Resources and Environmental ScienceMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA

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