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Different feeding behaviours in a single predatory mite species. 2. Responses of two populations of Phytoseiulus longipes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) to various prey species, prey stages and plant substrates

Ferrero, M., Tixier, M.-S., Kreiter, S.
Experimental & applied acarology 2014 v.62 no.3 pp. 325-335
Phytoseiulus, Tetranychus evansi, Tetranychus urticae, beans, eggs, life history, predatory mites, tomatoes
Tritrophic studies involving several populations of the predatory mite Phytoseiulus longipes showed distinct life history traits depending on the prey offered and/or the plant substrate. In order to better understand the biology of this predator, the response to several combinations of prey species (Tetranychus evansi and Tetranychus urticae), prey stages (eggs and mobile stages) and plant substrates (bean and tomato leaf discs) has been assessed for two populations of P. longipes. Unlike what was found for life history traits, both populations displayed similar behaviour: they went and stayed more on tomato than on bean, they preferred T. urticae over T. evansi and mobile stages over eggs. Combining the previous life history data with the present results suggests that P. longipes may display host-plant mediated specialization on a prey species, T. evansi. Possible underlying mechanisms are discussed, as well as directions for future work.