An astigmatid defence volatile against a phytoseiid mite

Midthassel, A., Leather, S.R., Wright, D.J., Baxter, I.H., Farman, D.I. and Cork, A. (2015) An astigmatid defence volatile against a phytoseiid mite. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 158 (1). pp. 97-107.

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Numerous semiochemicals have been isolated from several species of astigmatid mites with various identified or unidentified functions. Alarm pheromonal activity is widespread with neryl formate and neral, being the most common compounds eliciting alarm response in conspecifics. The cosmopolitan astigmatid mite Suidasia medanensis (= S. pontifica) Oudemans (Acari: Suidasidae) has been reported to use neral as an alarm pheromone, but neral can also act as an allomone towards predators of oribatid mites. Suidasia medanensis can be utilised as a factitious prey for mass-rearing of the phytoseiid predatory mite Amblyseius (= Typhlodromips) swirskii (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae), which is used for biological control of insect and mite pests in protected crops. This study investigated the potential defence properties of the S. medanensis volatiles against A. swirskii, comparing the repellency to pollen-reared (naïve) vs. S. medanensis-reared (experienced) predators using a synthetic blend of the isomers neral and geranial (1:1) as a model compound. In a repellency bioassay, the synthetic blend elicited a significant repellence to A. swirskii with no difference between naïve and experienced predators. During capture success studies, S. medanensis under repeated attack could release sufficient quantities of the defence volatile to deter 1–5 attacks from A. swirskii, whereas hexane-treated S. medanensis artificially depleted of volatiles were significantly more vulnerable to an attack. This is the first report of an astigmatid defence volatile with repellent activity to a phytoseiid mite and the starting point to understanding semiochemical interactions in any current or novel factitious predator-prey mass-rearing system.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Suidasia medanensis , Amblyseius swirskii, neral, geranial, Acari, Suidasidae, Phytoseiidae, Astigmata, factitious mass-rearing system
Divisions: Crop and Environment Sciences (to 31.07.20)
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2017 15:57
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2018 11:17

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