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The effects of temperature, relative humidity and hostplant on the behaviour of Stethorus punctillum as apredator of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychusurticae

Abstract

The predatory behaviour of Stethoruspunctillum larvae was studied on the two-spottedspider mite (Tetranychus urticae), in order toassess how it responded to temperatures and relativehumidities typical of glasshouse conditions on fouredible crop plant species. Locomotory activity(distance covered, time spent walking, walking speed,angular velocity, and turning rate) was recorded at20, 25 and 30 °C and relativehumidity levels of 33%, 65% and 90% RH on tomato,pepper, aubergine and cucumber and analysed usingvideo/computer techniques. The results show thatactivity of S. punctillum significantly increased athigher temperatures. Host plant species also stronglyinfluenced the performance of the predator, which wasmost active on pepper and tomato and least active onaubergine. Relative humidity had no significantinfluence.

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Rott, A.S., Ponsonby, D.J. The effects of temperature, relative humidity and hostplant on the behaviour of Stethorus punctillum as apredator of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychusurticae. BioControl 45, 155–164 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009982610696

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  • biological control
  • locomotory and predatory activity
  • Acari
  • Coccinellidae
  • Coleoptera
  • Tetranychidae