Predation preferences and discrimination between con- and heterospecific prey by the phytoseiid mites Phytoseiulus persimilis and Neoseiulus californicus

Author(s)
A Walzer, P Schausberger
Abstract

Discrimination between and predation preference for con- or heterospecific larvae was examined for adult females of P. persimilis and N. californicus in plexiglass cages with and without their primary prey T. urticae. Rates of intra- and interspecific predation on larvae were measured for females held on leaves and provided with excess amounts of spider mites. Females of the generalist N. californicus distinguished con- and heterospecific larvae and preferred to prey upon the latter. Females of the specialist P. persimilis appeared to lack discrimination ability and fed equally on con- and heterospecifics. When spider mites and phytoseiids were offered simultaneously, all P. persimilis females chose to first attack T. urticae, whereas N. californicus females attacked both tetranychids and heterospecific phytoseiids. Females of both predators preyed upon phytoseiid larvae when held on leaves with surplus T. urticae: while P. persimilis fed on both con- and heterospecifics, N. californicus attacked larvae of P. persimilis but avoided cannibalizing larvae. The different behaviors of P. persimilis and N. californicus are discussed with regard to different predation types (generalists vs. specialists) and the possible consequences of mixed release for biological control of spider mites in greenhouses.

Organisation(s)
External organisation(s)
Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Journal
BioControl: journal of the International Organization for Biological Control
Volume
43
Pages
469-478
No. of pages
10
ISSN
1386-6141
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009974918500
Publication date
1999
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
106047 Animal ecology
Keywords
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/predation-preferences-and-discrimination-between-con-and-heterospecific-prey-by-the-phytoseiid-mites-phytoseiulus-persimilis-and-neoseiulus-californicus(20b6bc1d-cca3-4429-9507-c59af3f79a2f).html