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Re: Phytoseilius persimillus

Don, all,

I tend to lurk in the group but a favourite little animal got me typing.  I
don't know if Phytoseilius has a common name, does it need one ?

If it is the beastie that I am thinking of it is a very effective predator
 of red spider mites.  It was said that it cannot deal with a heavy
infestation, this is not totally true, in my experience. 

Yes they of course are more quickly seen to work against low infestations
 and low mite densities but you need to remember that it is not a spray
but a predator.  There are lots of factors in its effectiveness. 

It eats the mites [anyone opens up a thread on how it sucks them not eats
outbreed the predator, at cooler temperatures.  However at higher temps (
I think ? circa 75F) this ceases to be true and then you have a marvellous
situation when you have "limitless" food for the predator to eat, and
predator outbreeds the prey species - that is when they can mop up pretty

Of course they eventually reach as sort of stability but do not, as has been
suggested, die when they eat up all the mites, they just die back.  Thgis is
ecology at work, poor predator that eats ALL the prey and then starves to

Our Winter temps will kill them over here, but they persist in our
glasshouses at 45F, or enough of thenm do to over-winter and re-establish 
in the spring.

So bearing in mind its temp. requirements it can be a VERY effective

Final caveats
1/ the predator is more susceptible to most sprays than the prey species.
2/ they apparently do not control well on one or two species, Passiflora is
reputed to be one of these.

Also a kite, it appears to me that they might control Brevipalpus (two
spotted spider mite) a serious pest of Pleione and several other 
ornamental spp.

This is based on using them here over about three years or so, well four
just starting and the little devils are a delight to see zipping around the
leaves in the summer, they are large enough to just be visible with the 
naked eye, especially the close-magnifying vision that seems to be one of 
the few benefits of middle age.

Hope this helps

Paul Christian BSc PhD=A0=A0
P.O.Box 468, WREXHAM, LL13 9XR, U.K.
Tel 01978 -366399=A0  Fax 01978 266466=A0
email   paul@rareplants.co.uk=A0=A0=A0=A0=A0=20
website "<http://rareplants.co.uk/>http://rareplants.co.uk"

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