Air temperature optimisation for humidity-controlled cold storage of the predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus and Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae)
Humidity-controlled cold storage, in which the water vapour pressure is saturated, can prolong the survival of the predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus (McGregor) and Phytoseiulus persimilis Athias-Henriot (Acari: Phytoseiidae). However, information on the optimum air temperature for long-term storage by this method is limited. The authors evaluated the survival of mated adult females of N. californicus and P. persimilis at 5.0, 7.5, 10.0 and 12.5 °C under saturated water vapour condition (vapour pressure deficit 0.0 kPa).
N. californicus showed a longer survival time than P. persimilis at all the air temperatures. The longest mean survival time of N. californicus was 11 weeks at 7.5 °C, whereas that of P. persimilis was 8 weeks at 5.0 °C. After storage at 7.5 °C for 8 weeks, no negative effect on post-storage oviposition was observed in N. californicus, whereas the oviposition of P. persimilis stored at 5.0 °C for 8 weeks was significantly reduced.
The interspecific variation in the response of these predators to low air temperature might be attributed to their natural habitat and energy requirements. These results may be useful for the long-term storage of these predators, which is required for cost-effective biological control. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry