, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 87–90 | Cite as

The profit of senescence in phytoseiid mites

  • Leo H. M. Blommers
  • Rolf C. M. van Arendonk


A long post-reproductive period in females under optimal conditions is common among phytoseiid mites which are specialized predators of Tetranychus-species. The resulting long life span provides the possibility to postpone or delay egg production during periods of prey scarcity, theoretically in both virgin and fertilized females. The latter are better as colonists. These specialized predators are also the most prolific phytoseiids. The unusual combination of large reproductive capacity and long life might be explained as an adaptation to widely fluctuating prey densities.


Optimal Condition Life Span Prey Density Reproductive Capacity Phytoseiid Mite 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leo H. M. Blommers
    • 1
  • Rolf C. M. van Arendonk
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Experimental EntomologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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