Hatherly, Ian Stuart (2005)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Typhlodromips montdorensis is a non-native predatory mite used for control of red spider mite and thrips, but is not yet licensed for use in the UK. Current legislation requires that non-native glasshouse biological control agents may not be introduced into the UK without a risk assessment of establishment potential outside of the glasshouse environment. This work focuses on the application of a recently developed protocol to assess the establishment potential of T. montdorensis in the UK. Further, the use of alternative prey outside the glasshouse by, Macrolophus caliginosus is examined, and interactions between Neoseiulus californicus, Typhlodromus pyri and T. montdorensis are investigated. Laboratory results demonstrate that T. montdorensis has a developmental threshold of 10.7°C, lacks cold tolerance and is unable to enter diapause when tested under two different regimes. Field studies indicate that no reproduction occurs within the field in winter (November to March) and 100% mortality of eggs, larvae and adults occurs within two weeks of release during this period. It is suggested that T. montdorensis would be a ‘safe candidate’ for introduction as a glasshouse biological control agent in the UK as outdoor establishment is unlikely to occur. Macrolophus caliginosus is able to feed and reproduce on Trialeurodes vaporariorum, Myzus persicae and Aleyrodes proletella although performance (lower fecundity and longevity) is reduced on the latter prey source. Both N. californicus and T. pyri were able to feed on larval stages of each other but when given a mixed diet, showed a preference for Tetranychus urticae over their phytoseiid prey. Neoseiulus californicus showed a preference for T. urticae over T. montdorensis, whereas the latter species showed no preference between T. urticae and N. californicus. This work has identified a robust experimental protocol for predicting the establishment potential of non-native biological control agents outside the glasshouse and has begun to develop a further experimental system for assessing the possibility of non-native biological control agents feeding on alternate hosts outside the glasshouse.
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