Submitted to: Experimental and Applied Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/26/2008
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The two-spotted spider mite has successfully infested over 150 species of plants; including vegetables, ornamentals, high value crops, and trees and causes hundred of millions of dollars in damage each year. The effect of plants nutrients on the fitness of the two-spotted spider mite was determined. This information is necessary to develop improved artificial diets for the primary mite predator Phytoseiulis persimilis as well as other mite predators.
Technical Abstract: Chemical analyses of two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae (Koch), and 3 of their host plants, Phaseolus vulgaris L., Phaseolus lunatus L., and Vigna unguiculata L. show that the content of total soluble protein, carbohydrates, and anions in the mites varies independently from the concentration detected on the host plant where they were reared. Concentrations of chlorides, fluorides, and phosphates showed significant differences among the tissues of the 3 host plants, but did not show significant differences among spider mites developing on the 3 plant species. Similarly, plant tissue showed significant differences in concentrations of maltose among the 3 plant species, but no significant differences were observed on spider mites developing on the different plant species. Plant tissue had significantly higher concentrations of chlorides, nitrates, fructose, galactose, and glucose and significantly lower concentrations of phosphates and glucosamine than found in spider mite tissue. Protein content did not differ among the different plant tissues, but was significantly lower for mites developing on P. lunatus than for mites developing on the other 2 host plant species. Spider mites showed significantly higher concentrations of protein in their tissues than their host plants. The significance of protein content differences as an indicator of mite fitness and as a tool to determine host suitability is discussed.