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A life table analysis to evaluate biological control of banks grass mite using the predatory mite, Galendromus flumenis (Acari: Phytoseiidae)

Ganjisaffar, Fatemeh, Perring, Thomas M.
Systematic and applied acarology 2017 v.22 no.1 pp. 7-13
Oligonychus pratensis, Phoenix dactylifera, Typhlodromus, adulthood, biological control, eggs, females, larvae, life tables, males, pests, photoperiod, population growth, predatory mites, reproduction, sex ratio, California
The predatory mite, Galendromus flumenis (Chant) (Acari: Phytoseiidae), has shown promising traits for biological control of Banks grass mite, the major pest of date palms in California. In the present study, reproduction and population growth parameters of G. flumenis on Banks grass mite eggs were studied at 34°C, 50±10% RH and a photoperiod of 16: 8 (L: D) hours. 100 percent of eggs hatched and 63.5 percent of the emerged larvae survived to adulthood. The total immature developmental time was 5.7 and 5.5 days for females and males, respectively. The sex ratio of G. flumenis was 0.70 (females/ females+ males). Mated females laid on average 1.6 eggs per day and 19.9 eggs during their mean ovipositional period of 12.5 days. The net reproductive rate (R₀) was 11.5 females/ female/ generation, the intrinsic rate of increase (rₘ) was 0.200 females/ female/ day, the finite rate of increase (λ) was 1.222 population multiplication/ day, the mean generation time (T) was 12.2 days, and the doubling time (DT) was 3.5 days. The lower rₘ value of G. flumenis than that of its prey (0.24–0.48) explains why Banks grass mite escapes control by G. flumenis in field. These results suggest that augmentative release of this predator would offset the lower rₘ of the predator, thereby contributing to the control of Banks grass mite. Combined with the benefit of early releases determined in companion studies, future field studies with G. flumenis are being planned.