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  • 1 National Research Centre (NRC), 31 El-Tahrir Street, 12311, Dokki, Cairo, Egypt
  • 2 Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt
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Tomato crop in the Mediterranean Basin has been recently affected by the exotic pest Tuta absoluta (Meyrick), which is difficult to control due to its high reproduction rate and potential to develop resistance to insecticides. In this paper, the suitability and effectiveness of three predatory phytoseiid mites Cydnoseius negevi (Swirski and Amitai), Neoseiulus barkeri (Hughes) and Amblyseius largoensis (Muma), an indigenous species, were evaluated on larvae of T. absoluta under laboratory conditions. First instar larvae of T. absoluta proved to be possible food source for tested phytoseiid mites under laboratory conditions.

Females of C. negevi, A. largoensis and N. barkeri were able to feed and sustain oviposition on unfed, first instar larvae of T. absoluta. A diet of insect larvae provided the shortest oviposition period and adult longevity of C. negevi and A. largoensis, while N. barkeri showed the longest corresponding periods. The total and daily number of insect larvae consumed was significantly higher in N. barkeri than in A. largoensis and C. negevi. Likewise, N. barkeri laid significantly higher number of eggs (23.6 eggs / female) than that deposited by C. negevi and A. largoensis (2.5 and 3.9 eggs / female). The sex ratio of the progeny was female biased and ranged: (females / total=0.62-0.68%) when insect larvae were provided for females of C. negevi, A. largoensis and N. barkeri.

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