The tomato red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker and Pritchard, has been considered as a threat to tomato production in some countries. Limited efforts have been dedicated to search for this mite and its natural enemies in Argentina. The objective of this study was to further study the distribution of T. evansi and the occurrence of associated natural enemies of this mite in the northern part of that country. The survey was conducted in the provinces of Chaco, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Santiago del Estero, Salta and Tucumán. A total of 1959 mites belonging to 57 species was found. Tetranychus evansi was found in the latter 5 provinces, which are located along the borders to Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Euseius concordis (Chant) (Phytoseiidae) was the most abundant and frequent predator in this study; other predators were much less abundant and frequent. None of the predators found seem to be promising as a control agent of T. evansi. The pathogenic fungus Neozygites floridana Weiser and Muma (Entomophthorales: Neozygitaceae) was the most common natural enemy associated with T. evansi. It was found infecting T. evansi on tomato and eggplant. Further studies on the prospective use of this fungus for the control of T. evansi are warranted.
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Vol. 15 • No. 1