, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 301–310 | Cite as

Evaluation ofStethorus nigripes [Col.: Coccinellidae] for biological control of spider mites in California almond orchards

  • Marjorie A. Hoy
  • Katherine B. Smith


Stethorus nigripesKapur (=S. loxtoniBritton & Lee) was imported from Australia in 1978 and released in California during 1978–1980. Laboratory and field cage studies evaluated aspects ofS. nigripes' biology considered likely to affect establishment. Our tests indicated that most ♀♀ became nonreproductive during late fall. The females' reproductive arrest seems not to be a true diapause, but may be due to chill experienced by pupae. Survival over winter of both sexes was low if they were not provided abundant prey; honey or water alone were inadequate.S. nigripes adults and larvae could not feed onPanonychus ulmi (Koch) orP. citri (McGregor) eggs and avoided all stadia ofBryobia rubrioculus (Scheuten) in laboratory tests, so it is not a “generalist” predator of spider mites.S. nigripes also is susceptible to pesticides used to control key insect pests in almonds, including the pyrethroid, permethrin (LC 50 value=0.48 g A.I./100 liter water). Releases to establish this predator were discontinued after 3 years, asS. nigripes' sensitivity to pesticides and its requirement for prey during winter seem sufficient to account for its failure to establish. Even if established, these factors might preventS. nigripes from becoming an effective spider mite predator in pesticide-treated almond orchards in California.


Cage Biological Control Insect Pest Spider Mite Mite Predator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Stethorus nigripesKapur (=S. loxtoniBritton & Lee) a été importé d'Australie en 1978 et lâché en Californie en 1978–1980. Par des essais en cage en laboratoire et dans la nature on a évalué les aspects de la biologie deS. nigripes susceptibles d'intervenir dans l'établissement de ce prédateur. Ces études ont montré que la plupart des femelles ne se reproduisent plus en find d'automne. L'arrêt de reproduction des femelles ne paraît pas être une véritable diapause mais peut être du au froid subi par les nymphes. La survie des 2 sexes pendant l'hiver est faible s'ils n'ont pas à leur disposition d'abondantes proies; l'eau et le miel seuls ne conviennent pas. Les adultes et les larves deS. nigripes n'ont pas pu s'alimenter aux dépens des œufs dePanonychus ulmi (Koch) ou deP. citri (McGregor) et ont évité tous les stades deBryobia rubrioculus (Scheuten) dans les essais en laboratoire; ce n'est donc pas un prédateur “généraliste” des tétranyques.S. nigripes est sensible aux pesticides utilisés pour la lutte contre les principaux ravageurs de l'amandier, y compris au pyréthrinoide, la perméthrine (la concentration léthale 50 est de 0,48 g pour 100 l d'eau).

On a arrêté les lâchers pour l'établissement de ce prédateur après 3 ans, du fait de la sensibilité deS. nigripes aux pesticides et de ses exigences en proies pendant l'hiver qui semblent suffisantes pour présumer d'un échec. Même s'il s'installe, ces facteurs empêcherontS. nigripes de devenir un prédateur efficace des tétranyques dans les vergers californiens d'amandiers traités par des pesticides.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beck, S.C. — 1968. Insect Photoperiodism. —Academic Press, New York, 288 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Britton, E.B. &Lee, B. — 1972.Stethorus loxtoni sp.N.[Coleoptera: Coccinellidae]. A newly-discovered predator of the two-sootted mited. —J. Aust. Entomol. Soc., 11, 55–60.Google Scholar
  3. DeBach, P. — 1965. Some biological and ecological phenomena associated with colonizing entomophagous insects. In Genetics of Colonizing Species (H.G. Baker &G.L. Stebbins eds.). —Academic Press, New York, 287–306.Google Scholar
  4. Field, R.P. — 1977. Integrated pest control in Victorian canning peach orchards: field and laboratory studies. —M.S. Thesis, Univ. Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  5. — — 1979. Integrated pest control in Victorian peach orchards: The role ofStethorus spp.[Coleoptera: Coccinellidae]. —J. Aust. Entomol. Soc., 18, 315–322.Google Scholar
  6. Hall, R.W. &Ehler, L.E. — 1979. Rate of establishment of natural enemies in classical biological control. —Bull. Entomol. Soc. Am., 25, 280–282.Google Scholar
  7. Houston, K.J. — 1980. A revision of the Australian species ofStethorus Weise [Coleoptera: Coccinellidae]. —J. Aust. Entomol. Soc., 19, 81–91.Google Scholar
  8. Hoy, M.A. — 1976. Establishment of gypsy moth parasitoids in North America: Evaluation of possible reasons for establishment or non-establishment. In: Perspectives in Forest Entomology (J.F. Anderson &H.K. Kaya eds.). —Academic Press, New York, 215–232.Google Scholar
  9. Hoy, M.A. &Smilanick, J.M. — 1981. Nonrandom prey location behavior of the phytoseiid predator,Metaseiulus occidentalis. Differential responses to several spider mite species. —Entomol. Exp. Appl., 29, 241–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hoy, M.A., Roush, R.T., Smith, K.B. &Barclay, L.W. — 1979. Spider mites and predators in San Joaquin Valley almond orchards. —Calif. Agric., 33, 11–13.Google Scholar
  11. Hull, L.A., Asquith, D. &Mowery, P.D. — 1976. Distribution ofStethorus punctum in relation to densities of the European red mite. —Environ. Entomol., 5, 337–342.Google Scholar
  12. Lucas, M.A. — 1969. The effect of population structure on the success of insect introductions. —Heredity, 24, 151–154.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Messenger, P.S. &Van den Bosch, R. — 1971. The adaptability of introduced biological control agents. In: Biological Control (C.B. Huffaker ed.). —Plenum Press, New York, 68–92.Google Scholar
  14. McMurtry, J.A. &Johnson, G.G. — 1966. An ecological study of the spider miteOligonychus punicae (Hirst) and its natural enemies. —Hilgardia, 37, 363–402.Google Scholar
  15. McMurtry, J.A., Huffaker, C.B. &Van de Vrie, M. — 1970. Ecology of tetranychid mites and their natural enemies: a review. I. Tetranychid enemies: their biological characters and the impact of spray practices. —Hilgardia, 40, 331–390.Google Scholar
  16. Putman, W.L. — 1955. Bionomics ofStethorus punctillus Weise [Coleoptera: Coccinellidae] in Ontario. —Can. Entomol., 87, 9–33.Google Scholar
  17. Readshaw, J.L. — 1975. The ecology of tetranychid mites in Australian orchards. —J. Appl. Ecol., 12, 1173–1195.Google Scholar
  18. Richardson, N.L. — 1977. The biology ofStethorus loxtoni Britton & Lee [Coleoptera: Coccinellidae] and its potential as a predator ofTetranychus urticae Koch [Acarina: Tetranychidae] in California. —Ph. D. Thesis, Univ. California, Berkeley, 185 pp.Google Scholar
  19. Walters, P.J. — 1976. Susceptibility of threeStethorus spp.[Coleoptera: Coccinellidae] to selected chemicals used in N.S.W. apple orchards. —J. Aust. Entomol. Soc., 15, 49–52.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Balthazar Publications 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjorie A. Hoy
    • 1
  • Katherine B. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Entomological SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations