Eur. J. Entomol. 105 (3): 461-466, 2008 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2008.059

The two spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae), alternative prey for the lacewing Dichochrysa prasina (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae)

Maria L. PAPPAS1, Georgios D. BROUFAS2, Dimitris S. KOVEOS1
1 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Faculty of Agriculture, Laboratory of Applied Zoology and Parasitology, 54 124 Thessaloniki, Greece; e-mail: koveos@agro.auth.gr
2 Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Agricultural Development, Laboratory of Agricultural Entomology and Zoology, 68 200 Orestiada, Greece

The predatory lacewing Dichochrysa prasina Burmeister can feed and reproduce on various aphid species. However, other species such as the two spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch may serve as an alternative prey for this predator in the field in periods when the population density of aphids is low. In peach orchards in Northern Greece D. prasina larvae are often found during the summer months on leaves infested with T. urticae. The development and reproduction of D. prasina fed on T. urticae at a series of different constant temperatures were studied. The percentages of D. prasina larvae that completed their development when fed on T. urticae ranged from 12 to 60% depending on the temperature over the range from 20 to 30C, whereas at temperatures above 33C no larvae survived. Longevity and egg production of D. prasina females fed during the larval stages on T. urticae were also determined and certain demographic parameters such as the intrinsic rate of increase (rm), mean generation time and net reproductive rate were estimated. Over the range of temperatures from 20 to 27C, the rm values were not significantly different and varied from 0.06629 to 0.07030. Based on the results of the present study, the possible effect of the availability of T. urticae as prey for D. prasina during summer, when its main prey species is scarce, is discussed.

Keywords: Chrysopidae, Dichochrysa prasina, Tetranychus urticae, temperature, alternative prey, lacewings

Received: September 18, 2007; Accepted: February 26, 2008; Published: July 31, 2008

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