An integrative approach to the molecular and morphological identification of mites associated with the red poultry mite
Abstract: Predatory mites are widely used for the control of plant feeding mites. However, information on the ecology of acarine predators and alternative prey found in association with mites attacking poultry and their potential for biological control is very limited. In addition, the identification of acarine predators rely on morphological characters that can be very difficult to discern. These ambiguities could be resolved if reliable molecular markers would be available. Recent studies demonstrated that mites of the families Cheyletidae and Laelapidae prey on the red poultry mite (RPM), Dermanyssus gallinae and small scale production of these biocontrol agents is currently being performed. As these were pioneering studies, it can be expected that additional generalist predator soil species from these families and others will be identified as biocontrol agents of D. gallinae. Within the frame work of the COREMI COST action FA1404, we sampled mites associated with RPM. Using molecular and morphological tools we identified 34 species belonging to 9 families.