Artificial diets support the development and reproduction of the predatory mite Amblyseius swirskii


Abstract: Liquid meridic artificial diets, lyophilized forms of these liquid diets and solid meridic artificial diets supplemented with pupal hemolymph of Antheraea pernyi (Guérin-Méneville) or with Artemia franciscana Kellogg (Anostraca: Artemiidae) cysts were tested for Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae), an important biological control agent of whiteflies, thrips and broad mites in several greenhouse crops. The liquid artificial diets and freeze-dried liquid diets supported the development and reproduction of A. swirskii. Freeze-drying of liquid diets did not affect their acceptability and nutritional quality for the mite. Amblyseius swirskii had no difficulty handling and feeding on powdered, solid artificial diets, allowing the predator to develop and reproduce successfully for at least a single generation. These findings indicate the potential of artificial diets to rationalize the mass production of the phytoseiid. Dry diets should have better potential for use as supplemental foods to sustain predatory mite populations in the crop after release.

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