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Antipredator responses in Tetranychus urticae differ with predator specialization

Jacobsen, S. K., Alexakis, I., Sigsgaard, L.
Journal of applied entomology 2016 v.140 no.3 pp. 228-231
Orius, Phytoseiulus persimilis, Tetranychus urticae, beans, biological control, eggs, fecundity, females, leaves, predator control, predatory insects, predatory mites, strawberries
The behavioural response of Tetranychus urticae to chemical cues from specialist predatory mites, Phytoseiulus persimilis, or generalist predatory bugs, Orius majusculus, on either bean or strawberry was studied in experimental arenas. Predators were placed on the leaf disc for 24 h and removed before T. urticae females were introduced. After 24 h, prey fecundity (number of eggs laid) and dispersal (number of prey drowned in the water barrier) were assessed. Chemical cues from the specialist predator resulted in reduced prey fecundity, significantly different from the generalist predator and control treatments. No interaction effect was found between plant species and prey fecundity, while significantly more eggs were laid on bean than on strawberry. Predator cues irrespective of predator specialization resulted in more prey dispersal than in the control. Findings emphasize the importance of specialization in the predator species complex for the degree and type of antipredator responses and resulting biological control.