Control potential of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) by Neoseiulus cucumeris (Oudemans) (Acari: Phytoseiidae).
To assess the control potential of a predator mite (Neoseiulus cucumeris Oudermans) on the invasive whitefly, Bemisia tabaci Gennadius MEAM1, the functional responses of different stages of N. cucumeris to the whitefly were investigated at laboratory conditions of (26±1)°C, RH 65%±5% and photoperiod of 16L:8D. The results showed that, with exception of a short-lived non-feeding nymphal stage, the nymphs and adults of N. cucumeris could predate on most stages of B. tabaci except the forth-instar nymphs and adults. The functional response of N. cucumeris to prey on B. tabaci corresponded to a Type II Holling curve. The daily predated prey number of N. cucumeris female adults was the highest for host eggs (8.5 eggs/female/day) and the lowest for host third-instar nymphs (2.1 nymphs/female/day). The instantaneous attacking rate and searching efficiency of N. cucumeri female adults on B. tabaic eggs was 0.038 and 0.025, respectively. These results indicate that N. cucumeris has a high predatory potential on eggs and young nymphs of B. tabaci, and can be used in biological control of B. tabaci at the early occurring period.