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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: On Possibilities for Control of Varroa (Acari: Mesostigmata) Emphasizing Chemical Ecology

Authors
item Yoder, Jay - WITTENBERG UNIV.
item Sammataro, Diana

Submitted to: Experimental and Applied Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2003
Publication Date: August 20, 2003
Citation: Yoder, J., Sammataro, D. On possibilities for control of Varroa (Acari: Mesostigmata) emphasizing chemical ecology. 2003. Internat. J. Acarology 29:139-143.

Interpretive Summary: The potential of pheromone-assisted techniques for management and control of Varroa, the behavior of conspecific mites (Varroa destructor) towards each other, and their corresponding extracts, were examined. Neither actual mites nor extracts prompted significant attraction responses or avoidance reactions that were indicative of aggregation-attachment, sex or alarm (= allomonal defense secretion) pheromone production. A mite-exposed filter paper disc covered with mite excreta, however, was highly attractive to mites and shows use of an assembly pheromone. This confirms involvement of the fecal accumulation in concentrating mites on brood cell walls between bloodmeals. Interestingly, formation of clusters at the fecal accumulation performs functional values of those pheromones that are absent. We anticipate that supplementing trap baits with guanine, the principle component of mite excreta, may be useful as a control tactic. Alternatively, the lack of defense secretion makes V. destructor vulnerable and ideal for control by introducing a mite predator.

Technical Abstract: The potential of pheromone-assisted techniques for management and control of Varroa, the behavior of conspecific mites (Varroa destructor) towards each other, and their corresponding extracts, were examined. Neither actual mites nor extracts prompted significant attraction responses or avoidance reactions that were indicative of aggregation-attachment, sex or alarm (= allomonal defense secretion) pheromone production. A mite-exposed filter paper disc covered with mite excreta, however, was highly attractive to mites and shows use of an assembly pheromone. This confirms involvement of the fecal accumulation in concentrating mites on brood cell walls between bloodmeals. Interestingly, formation of clusters at the fecal accumulation performs functional values of those pheromones that are absent. We anticipate that supplemeting trap baits with guanine, the principle component of mite excreta, may be useful as a control tactic. Alternatively, the lack of defense secretion makes V. destructor vulnerable and ideal for control by introducing a mite predator.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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