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Effects of relative humidity on development, fecundity and survival of three storage mites

Abstract

The developmental rate of immature stages and the reproduction of adults of Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Schrank), T. neiswanderi Johnston and Bruce and Acarus farris (Oudemans) were examined at 70, 80 and 90% r.h. and a constant temperature of 25°C. At 70% r.h., T. putrescentiae and A. farris immature stages failed to reach the protonymph stage as 100% of the larvae died, whereas T. neiswanderi was able to complete development. The developmental time of all immature stages for the three species was significantly increased as relative humidity was reduced. The mobile stages were particularly susceptible, as the time needed to complete their development at lower relative humidities suffered greater increases than the egg stage. At 70% r.h., T. putrescentiae and A. farris were not able to lay eggs and only 24% of T. neiswanderi pairs were fertile. The reproductive parameters of the three species at the relative humidities at which they were able to lay eggs showed significant differences, except for the percentage of fertile mating at 80 and 90% r.h. As relative humidity increased, preoviposition period was reduced and fecundity and daily fecundity was increased, whereas the oviposition period showed different patterns for the three species. The intrinsic rate of increase (r m ) of T. neiswanderi at 70% r.h. was negative indicating that, at these conditions, mite populations of this species will diminish until they disappear. As relative humidity increased from 80 to 90% r.h. this parameter was almost twofold for both Tyrophagus species. The r m obtained for A. farris at 90% r.h. was similar to that of T. neiswanderi at the same humidity while at 80% r.h. it was very small so that the population doubling time was more than 84 days. The influence of relative humidity on biology of these mites and its practical application as control measure are discussed.

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Acknowledgments

The research reported in the present paper was funded by the CAPSA and the Ministry of Science & Technology (project nos. PTR95.0612.OP and AGL2001-1652-CO2). We are grateful to Philippe Balbarie (CAPSA) for his assistance in mite sampling.

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Correspondence to Ismael Sánchez-Ramos.

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Sánchez-Ramos, I., Álvarez-Alfageme, F. & Castañera, P. Effects of relative humidity on development, fecundity and survival of three storage mites. Exp Appl Acarol 41, 87–100 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-007-9052-7

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Keywords

  • Tyrophagus putrescentiae
  • Tyrophagus neiswanderi
  • Acarus farris
  • Relative humidity
  • Development
  • Reproduction