Matching commercial thrips predating phytoseids with the highly diversified climatic conditions of different strawberry production systems
Flower inhabiting thrips (Order: Thysanoptera) are a major threat to fruit quality in strawberry production around the world. As chemical control is often inefficient, alternative control measures are of broad and current interest. Their fast reproduction makes predatory mites highly suitable for thrips control in a crop with a relatively short cropping season like strawberry. However, climatic conditions of strawberry production can differ strongly depending on the production system (glasshouse, plastic tunnel, open field, etc.) and the time span of cultivation (depending mostly on planting date and the type of cultivar: summer- or everbearing). As predatory mites typically display a temperature-dependent life history and the current commercially available thrips predating phytoseids vary in geographic origin, one can assume that under certain climatic conditions some species will be more applicable than others. The goal of this study is to determine which species are suitable for which climatic conditions. Therefore all (Belgian) production systems and time spans are categorized into three climate types, simulated in the laboratory. The population build-up of seven predatory mite species (A. degenerans, A. montdorensis, A. andersoni, A. limonicus, A. swirskii, N. cucumeris and E. gallicus) were assessed for each of these climatic conditions. Under the coldest condition (A), the in West-Europe indigenous E. gallicus was the only species with a significant population build up. When moderate conditions (B) were simulated E. gallicus, N. cucumeris and A. limonicus were most successful. The warmest regime (C) was most adequate for E. gallicus and A. swirskii.
Clymans, R., Trekels, H., Boonen, M., Craeye, S., Hanssens, J., Smagghe, G., Vervoort, M., Melis, P., Bylemans, D. and Beliën, T. (2017). Matching commercial thrips predating phytoseids with the highly diversified climatic conditions of different strawberry production systems. Acta Hortic. 1156, 863-870
biological control, Phytoseiidae, population growth, strawberry production, Thripinae