Mass-production of mite predators

Tuesday, November 12, 2013: 1:35 PM
Meeting Room 14 (Austin Convention Center)
Guadalupe Rojas , Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, USDA - ARS, Stoneville, MS
Juan A. Morales-Ramos , Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Stoneville, MS
Traditional techniques to rear predatory mites for laboratory studies include flooded arenas and detached leaves infested with spider mites in Petri dishes. On the other hand, their mass rearing is performed in spider mite infested live bean plants housed in green houses. New cage systems for detached spider mite infested leaves were developed for laboratory studies. A prototype for an enclosed and continuous rearing system for mass production of Phytoseiid mites was also developed. This technique consists of bean plants grown in planters through a grid, which is the bottom of a tray. One-week old bean plants are infested with spider mites. Fully infested plants are cut between the tray and the planter using a plant trimmer. Trays with infested mites are introduced in the top window of the containment cage. Phytoseiid mites are introduced to the cage. Three days later a tray is removed from the lower window using semi mechanize system built on the cage frame and a new tray with infested bean plants is introduced to the top window. Phytoseiid mites are collected daily from the collection container located at the top of the cage. This procedure can continue indefinitely without the need to introduce new phytoseiid mites.