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Pest Manag Sci. 2019 Jan 4. doi: 10.1002/ps.5312. [Epub ahead of print]

Supplementary food for Neoseiulus californicus boosts biological control of Tetranychus urticae on strawberry.

Author information

Department of Entomology, Section Acarology, Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa, MG, 36570-900, Brazil.
Econtrole Research & Consulting Ltda., Technological Center of Regional Development of Viçosa (CenTev), Federal University of Viçosa, Viçosa-, MG, 36570-900, Brazil.
Latin American Institute of Life and Nature Sciences (ILACVN), Federal University of Latin American Integration (UNILA), Foz do Iguaçu, Paraná, Brazil.
Agriculture and Livestock Research Enterprise of Minas Gerais (EPAMIG), Vila Gianetti 46, 36570-000, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.



A wide range of supplementary food resources can be offered to generalist predatory mites to improve their survival and reproduction and enhance their persistence in the environment. We investigated the relative suitability of different pollen types for the survival and reproduction of Neoseiulus californicus and its life history on a mixed diet of pollen and prey. Also, we evaluated the population dynamics of Tetranychus urticae in the presence of N. californicus with or without pollen, and in comparison to Phytoseiulus macropilis.


Survival and reproduction of N. californicus adults were satisfactory on exclusive diets of T. urticae, cattail pollen, palm pollen and bee pollen. However, mites did not reproduce when fed only pollen during both immature and adult stages. Both predatory mites successfully controlled T. urticae. Although the specialist P. macropilis was more efficient in suppressing the pest population in the short term, it abandoned plants at low prey densities, whereas N. californicus performed better and persisted longer under prey scarcity.


N. californicus is an efficient biological control agent of T. urticae and the provision of supplementary food could retain them in the crop prior to the arrival of the pest or in periods of prey scarcity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


development; food sources; generalist predator; mixed diet; pollen


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