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Releases of Insectary-Reared Galendromus occidentalis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in Commercial Apple Orchards

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Abstract:

Galendromus occidentalis (Nesbitt) is one of several phytoseiid species that are available for purchase to supplement endemic predator populations that are not providing sufficient control of spider mites. We performed a series of releases of commercially reared G. occidentalis in commercial apple (Malus domestica Borkhausen) orchards in Washington from 2010 to 2012. Releases of up to 50,000 mites per acre did not lead to an increase in populations of predatory mites or to a decrease in populations of pest mites. Assessments of mite numbers in shipments and quality (survival and fecundity) of those mites indicated that the commercial insectary was correctly estimating the number of predatory mites in their shipments, and that predator quality was not different than a laboratory colony. Finally, a predator‐prey model that used the intrinsic rates of increase of tetranychid prey and the prey consumption rate of the predator indicated that the density of G. occidentalis required to control the prey at the action threshold was not economically feasible. We conclude that G. occidentalis cannot be used to bring about short-term control via inundative releases in crops such as apple with large canopy volumes.

Keywords: Galendromus occidentalis; Phytoseiidae; Tetranychidae; biological control; inundative release

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC13153

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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  • 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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