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Field predation of twospotted spider mite in a New Zealand strawberry crop

Abstract

Predation by naturally occurring predatory arthropods was investigated to explain variations in population numbers of twospotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) between first and second season strawberry crops.

Araneomorph spiders. European harvestman [Phalangium opilio (L.)], Tasmanian lacewing [Micromus tasmaniae (Walker)] and Pacific damsel bug [Nabis kinbergii Reuter] were the only predators found in high numbers. However, spiders and harvestment were more prevalent than lacewings and nabids.

Laboratory feedings trials indicated spiders build horizontal webs in the plants and prey predominantly on small flying insects that shelter in the crops. Similar feeding trials cofirmed the palatability of TSSM to spiders and harvestmen.

Immunological testing for proteins of TSSM, aphids, Collembola and leafrollers in the intestines of field collected European harvestman, spiders, Tasmanian lacewing and Pacific damsel bug confirmed European harvestman includes TSSM in its diet, but not in large enough quantities to exert a significant regulating pressure on TSSM populations. Lacewings and nabids include TSSM in their diets but only in very small quantities (2% and 1% respectively). Spiders do not take TSSM unless they drop or spin down onto the spider webbing.

The immunological testing also showed European harvestman to be a polyphagous and opportunistic feeder. Prey residues were detected more frequently in harvestmen intestines at times of prey abundance which indicated a seasonality to harvestmen diet.

Résumé

On a évalué la prédation par les arthropodes prédateurs qui se trouvent naturellement dans les fraisiers, pour expliquer les variations numériques des tétranyques observées dans les cultures entre la première et la deuxième année. Seuls les araignées araneomorphes, le faucheur européen, le neuroptèreMicromus tasmaniae etNabis kinbergii se trouvaient en grand nombre. Cependant les deux premiers étaient plus nombreux que les autres.

Les études de laboratoire ont indiqué que les araignées tissent leurs toiles horizontalement dans les plantes, et qu'elles piègent surtout les petits insectes volants qui s'abritent dans le feuillage. Un test de préférence alimentaire a confirmé que le tétranyque est une nourriture acceptable pour les araignées et les faucheurs.

Les études immunologiques pour rechercher les protéines des proies: tétranyques, pucerons, Collembola et larves de tordeuses, dans le ventre des prédateurs piégés sur le terrain ont montré que les faucheurs ne consomment pas assez deT. urticae pour réduire d'une façon significative les populations de tétranyques. Le tétranyque représente seulement 2% de la nourriture deM. tasmaniae et 1 % de celle deNabis kinbergii. Les araignées ne prennent pas les tétranyques à moins qu'ils ne tombent dans la toile.

Ces études ont montré aussi que les faucheurs européens sont des prédateurs polyphages et opportunistes. Quand la proie est abondante on retrouve plus de débris de celle-ci dans leur tube digestif ce qui suggère une alimentation saisonnière de la part du prédateur.

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Butcher, M.R., Penman, D.R. & Scott, R.R. Field predation of twospotted spider mite in a New Zealand strawberry crop. Entomophaga 33, 173–183 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02372652

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Key-words

  • Twospotted spider mite
  • Tetranychus urticae
  • predation
  • strawberries
  • serology

Mots clés

  • Tétranyque à 2 points
  • Tetranychus urticae
  • prédation
  • fraisiers
  • sérologie