- Intraguild interactions between the predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus and Phytoseiulus persimilis
- Experimental and Applied Acarology
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
Abstract. Species at the same trophic level may interact through competition for food, but can also interact through intraguild predation. Intraguild predation is widespread at the second and third trophic level and the effects may cascade down to the plant level. The effects of intraguild predation can be modified by antipredator behaviour in the intraguild prey. We studied intraguild predation and antipredator behaviour in two species of predatory mite, Neoseiulus californicus and Phytoseiulus persimilis, which are both used for control of the two-spotted spider mite in greenhouse and outdoor crops. Using a Y-tube olfactometer, we assessed in particular whether each of the two predators avoids odours emanating from prey patches occupied by the heterospecific predator. Furthermore, we measured the occurrence and rate of intraguild predation of different developmental stages of P. persimilis and N. californicus on bean leaves in absence or in presence of the shared prey. Neither of the two predator species avoided prey patches with the heterospecific competitor, both when inexperienced with the other predator and when experienced with prey patches occupied by the heterospecific predator. Intraguild experiments showed that N. californicus is a potential intraguild predator of P. persimilis. However, P. persimilis did not suffer much from intraguild predation as long as the shared prey was present. This is probably because N. californicus prefers to feed on two-spotted spider mites rather than on its intraguild prey.
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