, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 493–501 | Cite as

Thermal activity thresholds of the predatory mirid Nesidiocoris tenuis: implications for its efficacy as a biological control agent

  • Gwennan E. Hughes
  • Lucy Alford
  • Guido Sterk
  • Jeffrey S. Bale


This study investigates the thermal activity thresholds of the predatory mirid Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter (Hemiptera: Miridae) and two spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae). Adult N. tenuis lost locomotory function and entered chill coma at significantly lower temperatures (4.0°C and 0.3°C, respectively) than adult T. urticae (7.0°C and 5.7°C, respectively). However, the mirids were more adversely affected by high temperatures, with T. urticae losing the ability to walk and entering heat coma at higher temperatures (47.3°C and 49.7°C, respectively) than N. tenuis (43.5°C and 46.6°C, respectively). Across a range of temperatures (2.5–20°C) adult N. tenuis had faster walking speeds than T. urticae. These data are discussed in relation to the climatic conditions under which N. tenuis would be an effective biocontrol agent.


Biocontrol Chill coma CTmax CTmin Heat coma Nesidiocoris tenuis 


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gwennan E. Hughes
    • 1
  • Lucy Alford
    • 1
  • Guido Sterk
    • 2
  • Jeffrey S. Bale
    • 1
  1. 1.School of BiosciencesUniversity of BirminghamEdgbaston, BirminghamUK
  2. 2.Biobest N.V.WesterloBelgium

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