University of California

Biological control of Pacific mites and Willamette mites in San Joaquin Valley vineyards: II. Influence of dispersion pattern of Metaseiulus occidentalis


D. L. Flaherty
C. B. Huffaker

Authors Affiliations

D. L. Flaherty was Assistant Research Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Berkeley; C. B. Huffaker was Professor of Entomology and Entomologist in the Experiment Station, Berkeley.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 40(10):309-330. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v40n10p309. December 1970.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


This study revealed that prey population attributes, not individual attributes, dictate the efficiency with which Metaseiulus occidentalis (Nesbitt) (Acarina: Phytoseiidae) responds to and controls populations of given spider mite species (Eotetranychus willamettei Ewing and Tetranychus pacificus McGregor) on grapevines.

The study also showed that under vineyard conditions, M. occidentalis has the ability to respond numerically to low or high prey densities. Using individual vines as study units, the length of the lag in predator response to low or high prey densities was shown to be mainly a function of absence or poor distribution of the predator relative to its prey.

Individual vine studies may delineate not only the importance of predation (delayed density-dependent action) but the importance of abiotic factors (density-independent actions), as well. Lumping of sampling data from large groups of vines precludes the appraisal and separation of these two equally important facets of natural control.

Finally, the studies indicate that chemical treatments may disrupt predator and prey distributional patterns, either directly by annihilating the predators or indirectly by annihilating their prey, or a combination of the two.

Literature Cited

Anderson NH, Morgan CVG. The role of Typhlodromus spp. in British Columbia apple orchards. Proc. 10th Intern. Congr. Ent., Montreal, 1956. 1958. 4:659-665.

Chant DA. Phytoseiid mites (Acarina: Phytoseiidae). Part I. Bionomics of seven species in southeastern England. Part II. A taxonomic review of the family Phytoseiidae, with descriptions of 38 new species. Can. Ent. 1959. 91(Suppl. 12):166 DOI: 10.4039/entm9112fv [CrossRef]

Chant DA. The effect of prey density on prey consumption and oviposition in adults of Typhlodromus (T.) occidentalis (Acarina: Phytoseiidae) in the laboratory. Can. Jour. Zool. 1961. 39:311-315. DOI: 10.1139/z61-035 [CrossRef]

Chant DA, Fleschner CA. Some observations on the ecology of phytoseiid mites in California. Entomophaga. 1960. 5:131-139. DOI: 10.1007/BF02374401 [CrossRef]

Collyer E. A summary of experiments to demonstrate the role of Typhlodromus pyri Scheut. in the control of Panonychus ulmi (Koch) in England. Acarologia. 1964a. 9:363-371.

Collyer E. The effect of alternate food supply on the relationship between two Typhlodromus species and Panonychus ulmi (Koch). Ent. Exptl. Appl. 1964b. 7:120-124. DOI: 10.1111/j.1570-7458.1964.tb02429.x [CrossRef]

Dosse G. über den Einfluss der Raubmilbe Typhlodromus tiliae Oud. auf die Obstbaumspinnmilbe Metatetranychus ulmi Koch. (Acari). Pflanzenschutz Ber. 1960. 24:113-137.

Flaherty DL. Vineyard trophic complexity and “Willamette mite, Eotetranychus willamettei Ewing (Acarina: Tetranychidae) densities. Ecology. 1969. 50:911-916. DOI: 10.2307/1933710 [CrossRef]

Huffaker CB. Experimental studies on predation: dispersion factors and predator-prey oscillations. Hilgardia. 1958. 27(14):343-383. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v27n14p343 [CrossRef]

Huffaker CB, Flaherty DL. Potential of biological control of two-spotted spider mites on strawberries in California. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1966. 59:786-792.

Huffaker CB, Kennett CE. Experimental studies on predation: predation and cyclamen mite populations on strawberries in California. Hilgardia. 1956. 26(4):191-222. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v26n04p191 [CrossRef]

Huffaker CB, Spitzer CH Jr. Some factors affecting red mite populations on pears in California. Jour. Econ. Ent. 1950. 43:819-831.

Huffaker CB, Shea KP, Herman SG. Experimental studies on predation: complex dispersion and levels of food in an acarine predatory-prey interaction. Hilgardia. 1963. 34(9):305-330. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v34n09p305 [CrossRef]

Huffaker CB, van de Vrie M, McMurtry JA. The ecology of tetranychid mites and their natural control. Ann. Eev. Ent. 1969. 14:125-174. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.en.14.010169.001013 [CrossRef]

Kropczy?ska D, van de Vrie M. The distribution of phytophagous and predacious mites on apple leaves. Boll. Zool. Agr. Bachic. Milano. Ser. 1965. II(7):107-112.

Kuchlein JH. A reconsideration of the role of predacious mites in the control of European red spider mite in orchards. Boll. Zool. Agr. Bachic. Milano. Ser. 1965. II(7):113-118.

Kuchlein JH. Mutual interference among the predacious mites Typhlodromus longipilus Nesbitt (Acari, Phytoseiidae). I. Effects of predator density on oviposition rate and migration tendency. Meded. Rijksfac. Landb.-wetensch. Gent. 1966. 31:740-746.

Kuchlein JH. The density-related action of aphidophagous insects. Vest. csl. Spol. Zool. (Acta. Soc. Zool. Bohemoslov.). 1967. 31:162-169.

Laing JE, Huffaker CB. Comparative studies of predation by Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot and Metaseiulus occidentalis (Nesbitt) (Acarina: Phytoseiidae) on populations of Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acarina: Tetranychidae). Res. Popul. Ecol. 1969. XI:105-126. DOI: 10.1007/BF02514514 [CrossRef]

Smith LM. Control of Pacific mites on grapes. Univ. of Calif. College of Agr. Exp. Sta. Prog. Ept. 1939. 615:14-16.

Smith LM. Mite populations on grapes. Effects of sulfur dust treatments on predatory mites and red spider mites. Calif. Agr. 1950. 4(3):13-14. http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.edu/landingpage.cfm?article=ca.v004n03p13 DOI: 10.3733/ca.v004n03p13 [CrossRef]

Smith LM, Stafford EM. Grapes pests in California. Calif. Agric. Exp. Sta. Ext. Ser. Cir. 1955. 445:61

van de Vrie M, Kropczy?ska D. The influence of predatory mites on the population development of Panonychus ulmi (Koch) on apple. Boll. Zool. Agr. Bachic. Ser. 1965. II(7):119-130.

Waters N. Biological and ecological studies of Typhlodromus mites as predators of six-spotted spider mite 1955. Ph.D. thesis, Univ. Calif. Berkeley

Flaherty D, Huffaker C. 1970. Biological control of Pacific mites and Willamette mites in San Joaquin Valley vineyards: II. Influence of dispersion pattern of Metaseiulus occidentalis. Hilgardia 40(10):309-330. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v40n10p309
Webmaster Email: sjosterman@ucanr.edu