Phytoseiids of economic importance

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Rebecca Schmidt , Entomology Department, Washington State University, Wenatchee, WA
Elizabeth H. Beers , Department of Entomology, Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, Wenatchee, WA
Phytoseiidae is among the most well-studied of mite families. Many of these predators are known for their efficacy as natural enemies of pest mites and thrips in agricultural systems. Several species are sold commercially for augmentative biological control and the conservation of endemic populations is a critical component of many integrated pest management programs (IPM). Because of their small size, these organisms can be difficult to identify, especially those that superficially resemble each other. However, identification is important in IPM, because phytoseiids are known to have different life style types and prey preferences. Here, we describe important identifying characteristics of nine economically important phytoseiids and provide a brief introduction to their biology and use in biological control.
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