Acaricide-impaired functional predation response of the phytoseiid mite Neoseiulus baraki to the coconut mite Aceria guerreronis
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Acaricides may interfere with a myriad of interactions among arthropods, particularly predator–prey interactions. The coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae), and its phytoseiid predator, Neoseiulus baraki (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae), provide an opportunity to explore such interference because the former is a key coconut pest species that requires both predation and acaricide application for its management. The objective of the present study was to assess the effect of the acaricides abamectin, azadirachtin and fenpyroximate on the functional response of N. baraki to A. guerreronis densities. The following prey densities were tested: 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 preys. The type of functional response and prey handling time (Th) were not altered by the acaricides. However, the attack rate (a′) was modified by abamectin and fenpyroximate, and the consumption peak was reduced by abamectin. All of the acaricides allowed for the maintenance of the predator in the field, but exposure to abamectin and fenpyroximate compromised prey consumption.
KeywordsAcaricides Prey consumption Predator–prey interaction Attack rate
We thank the following Brazilian agencies for their financial support: Pernambuco State Foundation for Research Aid (FACEPE), CAPES Foundation (Brazilian Ministry of Education), and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study did not involve any endangered or protected species. The specie studied is a species of predatory mite from a colony maintained in laboratory, where the experiments were performed and no specific permission was required.
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