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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fort Pierce, Florida » U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory » Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329402

Research Project: Exotic Whitefly Pests of Vegetables and Ornamental Plants

Location: Subtropical Insects and Horticulture Research

Title: Neoseiulus Cucumeris

Author
item Kakkar, Garima - University Of Florida
item Kumar, Vivek - University Of Florida
item Mckenzie, Cindy
item Osborne, Lance - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Extension Publications
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/27/2016
Publication Date: 7/20/2016
Citation: Kakkar, G., Kumar, V., McKenzie, C.L., Osborne, L.S. 2016. Neoseiulus cucumeris (cucumeris mite). Featured Creatures. Entomology and Nematology and Department, Florida Department of Plant Industry, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. EDIS# EENY 661. Available: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/Creatures/ORN

Interpretive Summary: Neoseiulus cucumeris is a commercially available predatory mite for control of several crop pests including thrips, mites, and whiteflies. Their ability to survive on plant pollen in the absence of pests and commercialization makes it one of the easiest adapted and readily available natural enemies for greenhouse, nursery or interiorscape production systems. In recent years, various delivery systems of N. cucumeris meant for their efficient survival and dispersal in commercial crop production have been developed. These can be directly released from buckets and bottles, or indirectly slow-released by hanging sachets containing mites on host plants. In this article we have summarized the important information about this biocontrol agent that would encourage their adoption and integration in the management program of different horticultural pests by growers.

Technical Abstract: Neoseiulus cucumeris is an aggressive predator of several soft-bodied arthropod pests, generally seen on the lower leaf surface or inside flowers. For its generalist predation behavior, it is being extensively used in biological control programs against a broad spectrum of pests (whiteflies, thrips, mites, aphids, and psyllid) of horticultural importance. N. cucumeris has a wide distribution in Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America. Although commercially available, N. cucumeris have been claimed to give suppression over a wide range of pests, but due to the presence of naturally existing allopatric populations, variations in their behavior in different regions can be expected. Variation in their predation potential against a target pest can also differ in single versus multiple pest situations. Depending upon the crop, climatic conditions, pest species and density, mite application rates can vary, but recommended application rate ranges between 50-100 mites per m2. This extension article summarizes the latest information encompassing its biology, distribution, hosts and economic importance that could help growers, extension personnel or researchers to make informed decisions of pest management, thus reducing the unwarranted usage of insecticides.