Cannibalism and intraguild predation (IGP) are two common interactions occurs in animal kingdom which influence their population structure and dynamics. Neoseiulus barkeri (Hughes) and Scolothrips takahashii (Priesner) are important natural enemies of citrus red mite Panonychus citri (McGregor). However, little was known about their interactions and how the availability of extraguild (EG) prey P. citri modulated their interactions. In this study, we determined incidences of cannibalism and intraguild predation of these two predators when different densities of extraguild prey P. citri were available. Our results showed that incidences of both cannibalism and IGP and were significantly reduced in the presence of the extraguild prey. The intraguild predation between N. barkeri and S. takahashii was bidirectional, but N. barkeri was a predominant intraguild predator over S. takahashii. The S. takahashii fed on immobile N. barkeri egg, and N. barkeri fed on inactive prepupa and pupa of S. takahashii, but the conspecifics seldom did. Our results indicated that the interactions of predators decreased significantly when prey was available. The predatory mite N. barkeri was a stronger interspecific competitor. The results of this study may be useful in developing effective biological control strategies against P. citri.
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Vol. 25 • No. 5