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Apple pollen as a supplemental food source for the control of western flower thrips by two predatory mites, Amblyseius swirskii and Neoseiulus cucumeris (Acari: Phytoseiidae), on potted chrysanthemum

Delisle, J. F., Shipp, L., Brodeur, J.
Experimental & applied acarology 2015 v.65 no.4 pp. 495-509
Amblyseius swirskii, Chrysanthemum, Frankliniella occidentalis, Neoseiulus cucumeris, acarology, adults, apples, cages, dietary supplements, greenhouse experimentation, greenhouses, immatures, pest control, pollen, population, predatory mites, reproduction, temperature
It has been shown that pollen as a dietary supplement may increase the establishment (development and reproduction) and survival of phytoseiid predatory mites, and therefore the pest control these mites can provide. In this study, the role of apple pollen as a supplemental food source was assessed as a means to increase the efficiency of two predatory mite species, Neoseiulus cucumeris and Amblyseius swirskii, for control of western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis, under greenhouse conditions. The impact of apple pollen on thrips populations and predator establishment on a greenhouse chrysanthemum crop was determined over a 4-week period. The two mite species were released separately and in combination with and without pollen with two control treatments (thrips only and thrips + pollen). The introduction of A. swirskii together with pollen application provided the best control of thrips (adults and immatures). The establishment of N. cucumeris was very low in the crop during the greenhouse trial. This could be attributable, in part, to their response to extreme temperature ranges that were encountered during the greenhouse cage trials. The use of A. swirskii alone and the mixed population of the two predatory mite species without pollen resulted in the lowest frequencies of plants with heavy damage, followed by the same treatments with the addition of apple pollen.