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Predator performance is impaired by the presence of a second prey species

Lima, D.B., Oliveira, H.K.V., Melo, J.W.S., Gondim, M.G.C., Sabelis, M., Pallini, A., Janssen, A.
Bulletin of entomological research 2017 v.107 no.3 pp. 313-321
Aceria guerreronis, Neoseiulus, Steneotarsonemus, coconuts, fruits, herbivores, natural enemies, odors, perianth, pests, predatory mites, prey species, progeny
The simultaneous infestation of a plant by several species of herbivores may affect the attractiveness of plants to the natural enemies of one of the herbivores. We studied the effect of coconut fruits infested by the pests Aceria guerreronis and Steneotarsonemus concavuscutum, which are generally found together under the coconut perianth. The predatory mite Neoseiulus baraki produced lower numbers of offspring on fruits infested with S. concavuscutum and on fruits infested with both prey than on fruits with A. guerreronis only. The predators were attracted by odours emanating from coconuts with A. guerreronis, but not by odours from coconuts with S. concavuscutum, even when A. guerreronis were present on the same fruit. Fewer N. baraki were recaptured on fruits with both prey or with S. concavuscutum than on fruits with only A. guerreronis. Furthermore, the quality of A. guerreronis from singly and multiply infested coconuts as food for N. baraki did not differ. Concluding, our results suggest that N. baraki does not perform well when S. concavuscutum is present on the coconuts, and the control of A. guerreronis by N. baraki may be negatively affected by the presence of S. concavuscutum.