Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

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Midthassel A.,Certis Europe UK | Midthassel A.,Imperial College London | Leather S.R.,Harper Adams University College | Wright D.J.,Imperial College London | Baxter I.H.,Certis Europe UK
Biocontrol Science and Technology | Year: 2014

The whitefly and thrips predator Typhlodromips swirskii (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) can be reared on the factitious astigmatid mite Suidasia medanensis (Oudemans) (Acari: Suidasiidae). The predator-prey relationship allows the system to be incorporated into a breeding sachet which releases predators into a crop over several weeks ensuring predator presence on arrival of the target pests and increased predator numerical response on the crop through immigration from the breeding sachet. This study investigated whether the prey preference and functional and numerical response of T. swirskii to different development stages of S. medanensis can provide understanding of the predator-prey interactions sustaining such a breeding sachet. T. swirskii elicited a strong preference to egg stages of S. medanensis, exhibited a Type II functional response and increased oviposition rate with increasing prey density. The relevance of these attributes to a balanced breeding sachet is discussed. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.


Midthassel A.,Certis Europe UK | Midthassel A.,Imperial College London | Leather S.R.,Harper Adams University College | Wright D.J.,Imperial College London | Baxter I.H.,Certis Europe UK
BioControl | Year: 2016

The two biocontrol agents Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot (Acari: Phytoseiidae) and Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Cordycipitaceae) have the potential to complement one another as part of an integrated pest management programme. While both can suppress whitefly and thrips infestations in protected crops, A. swirskii is primarily used preventatively whereas B. bassiana can be used as a curative treatment at higher pest levels. With this concomitant use in mind, the research presented here aimed to identify potential negative effects of the commercial B. bassiana strain GHA on A. swirskii in a laboratory study. Adult A. swirskii were found to be susceptible to B. bassiana infection with slight to moderate virulence (20.74 ± 3.89 to 48.33 % ± 3.07) depending on the type of exposure and with a reduction in fecundity over time. There was however no negative effect on juvenile survival neither on dry residue nor on the offspring of infected mites. Thus, these two biocontrol agents do have the potential to be complementary. Further trials in the field are still required before a final conclusion can be reached. © 2016 The Author(s)

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