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Vet Parasitol. 2012 Jun 8;187(1-2):341-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.01.014. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

Laboratory screening of potential predators of the poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) and assessment of Hypoaspis miles performance under varying biotic and abiotic conditions.

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School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, United Kingdom.


The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae (De Geer), is the most important ectoparasitic pest of layer hens worldwide and difficult to control through 'conventional' synthetic acaricides. The present study aimed to identify a suitable predator of D. gallinae that could potentially form the basis of biological control in commercial poultry systems. From four selected predatory mite species (Hypoaspis miles (Berlese), Hypoaspis aculeifer (Canestrini), Amblyseius degenerans (Berlese) and Phytoseiulus persimilis (Athias-Henriot)), Hypoaspis mites demonstrated the greatest potential as predators of D. gallinae. Experiments were also conducted to assess the effect of environmental (temperature and dust), physical (presence of harbourages) and biological (presence of alternative prey) factors on the predatory efficacy of H. miles. Predation of D. gallinae per se was observed under all conditions tested, though was found to be temperature-dependent and reduced by the presence of alternative prey.

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