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Title: Mites (Acari) for pest control

item Ochoa, Ronald - Ron

Submitted to: London Publishing House
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2002
Publication Date: 2/1/2003
Citation: Gerson, U., Smiley, R.L., Ochoa, R. 2003. Mites (Acari) for pest control. London Publishing House. p. 540.

Interpretive Summary: Thirty-four families of the subclass Acari includes mites that are parasitic or predator on insect (beetles, scale insects, white flies, aphids, grasshoppers and thrips) and mite pests, and transmit viruses to weeds. These mite families are potentially important as biological control agents. Because most of the mites are small, transparent, and their biology and association with different host are not well known; field recognition and study of these mites are difficult. The importance of this book is to introduce the families of mites known as biocontrol agents and to increase the knowledge on the potential use of them in agriculture. This study will be important to entomologists, and to persons involved in plant protection, integrated pest management and biological control.

Technical Abstract: The initial publication of "Acarine Biocontrol Agents", published more than a decade ago, was a most welcomed reference work for practitioners of biological control. A Chinese translation of the book was published in 1996. This new edition provides important additional and updated information. As in the first, this new version discusses, in detail, the 34 acarine families (five more than in the first book) that contain mites useful for control of insects, mites, and nematodes, as well as of weeds (a subject new to this edition), and provides an illustrated taxonomic key for their identification. This information and the lists of relevant publications are brought up to date. Mites have been used in various ways for biological control, and a number of species, particularly phytoseiids, are sold commercially throughout the world for biological control. My specific interest in the subject matter relates to the use of mites in "classical biological control", i.e., the importation of exotic species of control of introduced pests. The authors have all been involved in taxonomic and other research on mites for many years, with many publications to their credit. Their authorship of such a comprehensive work relating to biological control as this book, is most fitting. In regard to my specific interest, Uri Gerson long ago reminded me that the first biological control agent involved in classical biological control was a mite, as is noted in the first chapter of this book; Robert Smiley is the describer of an acarine parasite introduced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (but not established) in the United States as a biological control agent of the Mexican bean beetle; and Ronald Ochoa has provided comments concerning exotic mites proposed for introduction in North America to me for my role as member of USDA's Technical Advisory Group for Biological Control of Weeds, and I am pleased to see this subject covered in the new version. To conclude, I can only repeat the words of the author of the Foreword to the first edition, Lloyd Knutson, that this updated book "will be of great value to the biological control worker and to acarologists, the specialist and non-specialist, the field-person and the theoretician". It will certainly be a welcomed addition to the ARS Biological Control Documentation Center library. Jack R. Coulson.