Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 709–718 | Cite as

Do light intensity, temperature and photoperiod affect the entrapment of mites on glandular hairs of cultivated tomatoes?

  • P. Nihoul


The effects of plant growth conditions (light intensity, temperature and photoperiod) on the proportion of spider mites (Tetranychus urticae) and predatory mites (Phytoseiulus persimilis) entrapped by type VI trichomes were investigated in the cultivated tomato Lycopersicon esculentum. Trichomes released sticky substances showing rapid hardening when the trichome head was ruptured by contact with mites. Adult individuals of both species of mites were immobilized by exudates in a higher percentage on leaf stalks from plants grown in the light (160 μeinsteins cm-2s-1) than on leaf stalks from plants grown in the shade (50 μeinsteins cm-2 s-1). Leaf stalks from plants grown in the light showed bigger trichome heads. More predatory mites were also entrapped on the leaf stalks from plants grown at 18°C (65% RH) as compared to the ones grown at 24°C (60% RH), whereas trichome heads were bigger under the former conditions. Contrary to leaf stalks, leaflet areas, through differences in trichome density and size, showed no diffences in predator and spider mite entrapment. Trichome head size was probably related to mite entrapment. It is also hypothesised that temperature increase might influence predator entrapment through effects on trichome quality.


Plant Growth Light Intensity Temperature Increase Rapid Hardening Lycopersicon Esculentum 
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© Science and Technology Letters. All rights reserved 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Nihoul
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Ecology and BiogeographyCatholic University of LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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