- Distribution and oviposition site selection by predatory mites in the presence of intraguild predators
- Experimental and Applied Acarology
- Volume | Issue number
- 67 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
When intraguild prey and intraguild predators feed and reproduce in the same habitat and relatively immobile juveniles are the vulnerable stage, predation risk depends on oviposition site selection by the adult females. We studied how the availability of oviposition sites affected the distribution of two predatory mite species, Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans) and Iphiseius degenerans (Berlese), over two patches that both contained food. The two plant-inhabiting species feed on pollen and thrips, prey on each other’s juveniles, and prefer to oviposit on hairy parts of the leaf. When an artificial oviposition site was provided on one of two connected patches, both predator species strongly preferred this patch. Whereas the distributions of adults and eggs of N. cucumeris over the two patches were not affected by the presence of heterospecifics, the proportions of adults and eggs of I. degenerans on the patch with an oviposition site were reduced by the presence of N. cucumeris. A similar change in distribution was induced by cues of N. cucumeris on the oviposition site, without these mites being present. Hence, intraguild prey can weaken the strength of intraguild predation through patch selection, which in turn may promote coexistence of the two predator species.
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