Representative fungicides from three or four families used for management of powdery mildew and other diseases in tree fruits were evaluated for their effects on a common spider mite and predator mite species, respectively. A modified Munger cell technique was effective in measuring the response of phytophagous and predaceous mites to fungicide residues on detached leaves in the laboratory. Demethylation-inhibiting (DMI) (imidazole [triflumazole] and triazole [myclobutanil]) and strobilurin (trifloxystrobin) fungicides were not toxic to female Tetranychus urticae Koch and Galendromus occidentalis (Nesbitt), and no sublethal effects were found on fecundity and predation rate after 3–5-d exposure to residues. Benomyl, a benzimidazole fungicide, increased adult mortality and reduced fecundity for both mite species; however, it did not alter the predation rate of G. occidentalis females on T. urticae eggs and larvae. Female G. occidentalis that survived the lethal effects of benomyl and the comparison acaricide pyridaben were unimpaired in predation. Our results for benomyl substantiate those of earlier studies and provide evidence for nontoxic effects of DMI and strobilurin fungicides on mites. We propose that DMI and strobilurin fungicides are a good fit for integrated mite management programs due to conservation of phytoseiid predatory mites.
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Vol. 97 • No. 3