Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 70, Issue 1, pp 69–78 | Cite as

Impact of factitious foods and prey on the oviposition of the predatory mites Gaeolaelaps aculeifer and Stratiolaelaps scimitus (Acari: Laelapidae)

  • C. Navarro-Campos
  • F. L. Wäckers
  • A. Pekas


The soil-dwelling predatory mites Gaeolaelaps aculeifer and Stratiolaelaps scimitus (Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) are important biocontrol agents of several pests (Astigmata, Thysanoptera, Diptera). There is little information regarding the use of factitious foods that potentially improve their mass rearing and population development once released in the field. Here we tested the suitability of several types of factitious food and prey for G. aculeifer and S. scimitus. Factitious foods included eggs of Ephestia kuehniella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), hydrated encapsulated cysts of the brine shrimp Artemia sp. (Anostraca: Artemiidae), two species of saprophytic nematodes (Panagrellus redivivus and Panagrellus sp.) (Nematoda: Panagrolaimidae) and pollen of cattail Typha angustifolia (Poales: Typhaceae). Parameters tested were oviposition over a 3-day period compared with controls provided with either second instars of the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) or a mix of instars of the commercially used prey mite Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Astigmatina: Acaridae) or the absence of food. Compared to the standard prey mite T. putrescentiae, G. aculeifer showed elevated oviposition when fed thrips larvae, E. kuehniella eggs, Artemia sp. cysts or the saprophytic P. redivivus. Oviposition by S. scimitus was high when provided with thrips larvae and P. redivivus, but not significantly different from oviposition on T. putrescentiae. Oviposition for both predatory mite species was very low or zero when provided with T. angustifolia pollen. Finally, G. aculeifer consumed significantly more thrips larvae than S. scimitus. The implication of these results for the mass-rearing of G. aculeifer and S. scimitus are discussed.


Biological control Soil predatory mites Nematodes Frankliniella occidentalis Artemia cysts Ephestia kuehniella 



This research was supported by the European grant FP7-IAPP #324475 ‘Colbics’. We would like to thank Nancy Lenaerts, Peggy Bogaerts and Ilse Jacobs for help with the trial preparation and thrips rearing and Dominiek Vangansbeke for useful comments on a previous version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Navarro-Campos
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. L. Wäckers
    • 1
  • A. Pekas
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.R&D DepartmentBiobest Belgium N.V.WesterloBelgium
  2. 2.Institut Agroforestal Mediterrani (IAM)Universitat Politècnica de ValènciaValènciaSpain

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