Effects of temperature on the establishment potential of the predatory mite Amblyseius californicus McGregor (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in the UK

Amblyseius californicus was introduced into the UK in the early 1990s as a biocontrol agent against glasshouse red spider mite Tetranychus urticae. This study investigated the effects of temperature on the establishment potential of A. californicus in the UK in the light of recent reports of their successful overwintering outside of glasshouse environments. The developmental thresholds were 9.9 and 8.6 degreesC respectively using simple and weighted linear regression. Using the day-degree requirement per generation calculated by weighted regression (143 day-degrees) in combination with climate data, it was estimated that up to seven generations would be possible annually outdoors in the UK. Non-diapausing adult females froze at -22 degreesC, with 100% mortality after reaching their freezing temperature. Up to 90% of mites died before freezing after short exposures to low temperatures. Significant acclimation responses occurred; 90% of acclimated individuals survived 26 days exposure at 0 degreesC and 11 days at -5 degreesC (acclimated mites were reared at 19 degreesC, 6L:18D followed by I week at 10 degreesC, 12L:12D). Non-diapausing adult females survived over 3 months outdoors in winter under sheltered conditions and oviposition was observed. The experimental protocol used in this study is discussed as a pre-release screen for the establishment potential of other Amblyseius species, and similar non-native biocontrol agents.


Publication status:
Authors: Hart, A.J., Bale, J.S., Tullett, A.G., Worland, M.R., Walters, K.F.A.

On this site: Roger Worland
1 January, 2002
Journal of Insect Physiology / 48
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