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  • Author or Editor: F. M. Momen x
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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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The developmental time, survival, fecundity and life table parameters of the predacious mite, Lasioseius lindquisti Nasr and Abou-Awad were determined on seven different food types at 28±1° C and 70±5% RH. The food tested are, the eriophyid mite, Aceria dioscoridis (Soliman and Abou-Awad), the acarid mite, Rhizoglyphus robini Claparede, the two spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch, pollen grains of Ricinus communis L and Phoenix dactylifera L. as well as fungi of Fusarium oxysporum Snyder and Fusarium solani Snyder. Total developmental time of L. lindquisti female was shortest (7.0, 7.7, 7.2 and 8.0 days) on A. dioscoridis, pollen grains of P. dactylifera and both fungi F. solani and F. oxysporum, respectively. The total egg production rates were the highest on A. dioscoridis and pollen grains of P. dactylifera (62.7 and 46.6 eggs / ♀, respectively). A diet of A. dioscoridis showed a higher values of the net reproductive rate (Ro = 42.3375), intrinsic rate of increase (rm = 0.2902) and finite rate of increase (λ = 1.3367) per day than pollen grains of P. dactylifera and the fungus F. oxysporum. A diet of F. oxysporum fungus resulted the lowest total fecundity which resulted in the lowest the net reproductive rate (Ro = 17.9290), intrinsic rate of increase (rm = 0.1941) and finite rate of increase (λ = 1.2142)) per day for L. lindquisti. Rhizoglyphus robini, pollen grains of R. communis and F. solani fungus were considered as supplementary food for the predator L. lindquisti, since the predator able to feed and develop on above diets but failed to sustain oviposition. The sex ratio of the progeny was female biased (female / total = 0.68 and 0.62) when A. dioscoridis and pollen grains of P. dactylifera were provided to the predator. Lasioseius lindquisti failed to feed and develop on nymphs of T. urticae.

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The predatory mite Cosmolaelaps keni is a native laelapid mite in Egypt. Development and adult longevity durations as well as fecundity of C. keni reared on five types of prey, Bactrocera zonata, Spodoptera littoralis and Corcyra cephalonica eggs (as insects prey), Aceria dioscoridis and Caloglyphus rodriguez (as mites prey) were determined under laboratory conditions. Cosmolaelaps keni was able to feed, develop and sustain oviposition on all examined insect and mite species. The mean developmental period of C. keni on B. zonata and S. littoralis eggs was significantly shorter than those fed C. cephalonica eggs and both mite species. Deutonymphs of C. keni were consumed similar number of insect eggs, while during the oviposition period, more B. zonata eggs were consumed. A diet of C. rodriguez provided the shortest oviposition period and longevity, while C. cephalonica eggs showed the longest period in this respect. During the oviposition period, preying on B. zonata and C. cephalonica eggs gave the highest fecundity rates for the predatory mite compared to S. littoralis and C. rodriguez. The sex ratio of C. keni progeny was in female-biased. Bactrocera zonata eggs as a prey gave the highest rate of oviposition as shown by the maximum fertility, net reproductive rate and gross reproductive rate as well as the shortest generation time compared to other tested prey; therefore B. zonata eggs were appropriate factitious prey for oviposition and mass rearing of the predatory mite C. keni.

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Development, survival and reproduction of the generalist predatory mites, Amblyseius largoensis (Muma), Neoseiulus barkeri (Hughes), Typhlodromips swirskii (Athias-Henriot), Proprioseiopsis kadii (El-Halawany and Abdel-Samad) and Cydnosus negevi (Swirski and Amitai) were assessed when fed on eggs of Bactrocera zonata (Saunders) (Diptera: Tephritidae) as a factitious food. For N. barkeri and P. kadii, the development was faster, while the reproduction was higher in N. barkeri and A. largoensis than for P. kadii. Survival of immatures of T. swirskii and C. negevi was low on eggs of B. zonata and all failed to develop beyond the protonymphal stage.

A total of 35.4, 31.2 and 19.6 eggs per female, respectively, were obtained when N. barkeri, A. largoensis and P. kadii were fed B. zonata eggs. A diet of the peach fruit fly eggs provided the longest female longevity and highest mean total fecundity, which resulted in the highest net reproductive rate (Ro=34.61 and 32.78) and doubling time (DT=1.53 and 1.60) for N. barkeri and A. largoensis, respectively.

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