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Thermal biology and behaviour of two predatory Phytoseiid mites: Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot) (Acari:Phytoseiidae) and Phytoseiulus longipes (Evans) (Acari:Phytoseiidae)

Allen, Claire Marie (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Amblyseius swirskii and Phytoseiulus longipes are targeted as biological control agents for the horticultural pest Tetranychus urticae. This study applies a standardised protocol to evaluate the risk of establishment of introduced species and investigates temperature related behavioural thresholds for all three species. Laboratory results demonstrate a low level of cold tolerance in A. swirskii and no diapause. Field studies recorded 100% mortality within two weeks of outdoor winter exposure. Amblyseius swirskii has a higher activity threshold temperature than it’s target prey T. urticae. Amblyseius swirskii lacks cold tolerance and is unlikely to establish outdoors and thus can be considered a ‘safe candidate’ for release. Laboratory results demonstrate that P. longipes can not diapause yet is more cold tolerant than A. swirskii. Field studies report 100% mortality after 73 days of winter exposure. Phytoseiulus longipes demonstrates mid-range cold tolerance yet is unlikely to survive an entire winter outdoors. Phytoseiulus longipes has lower activity threshold temperatures than T. urticae. Further studies are required on other factors attributable to establishment potential before it can be classified a ‘safe candidate’. As a consequence of the findings of the present study A. swirskii was granted a license for release into the UK in 2006.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Bale, Jeffrey S
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Biosciences
Subjects:QK Botany
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:601
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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