Effects of Soil Moisture and Temperature on Reproduction and Development of Twospotted Spider Mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) in Strawberries

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The effects of soil moisture and temperature on the reproduction of twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae), were examined in laboratory and field tests in strawberries, Fragaria × ananassa Duchesne, in Florida. Different soil moisture levels (low, moderate, and high) were compared to determine how soil moisture affects the reproduction and development of twospotted spider mite. In addition to soil moisture, different irrigation techniques (drip versus drip/overhead) were compared to determine their effects on twospotted spider mite reproduction as well as the incidence of angular leaf spot, Xanthomonas fragaria Kennedy & King disease. Similar studies were conducted to determine how different temperatures (18, 27, and 35°C) affect the reproduction and development of twospotted spider mites. In the laboratory, low soil moisture as well as temperatures >27°C promoted twospotted spider mite development. A similar trend was observed in a field study with low soil moisture promoting twospotted spider mite reproduction during the early season (11 November–8 December). Irrespective of moisture levels, a significantly higher incidence of X. fragaria was recorded in treatments with drip/overhead irrigation systems compared with drip irrigation. Implications for management of soil moisture levels are discussed with respect to the abundance of twospotted spider mite and X. fragaria in strawberries.

Keywords: irrigation; soil moisture; strawberries; temperature; twospotted spider mite

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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