The development, survivorship, and reproduction of the predacious mite Typhlodromus athenas Swirski and Ragusa were studied in the laboratory by rearing the predator on nine different plant pollens [almond (Prunus amygdalis Batsch), apple (Malus domestica Borkh.), apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.), cherry (Prunus avium L.), pear (Pyrus communis L.), plum (Prunus domestica L.), walnut (Juglans regia L.), olive (Olea europaea L.), Typha sp.], and pollen collected from bee hives. All experiments were conducted in environmental chambers at 20 ± 1°C, 65% RH, and a photoperiod of 16:8 (L:D) h. Survival during immature development ranged from 81.1 to 96.0%. The shortest mean developmental time from egg to adult with respect to the range of pollen species was recorded for females and males fed on almond pollen (10.76 ± 0.18 and 10.45 ± 0.21 d, respectively), while the longest was on beehive pollen (26.97 ± 0.23 and 24.00 ± 0.25 d for females and males, respectively). Female longevity varied from 51.63 ± 5.52 d (olive pollen) to 102.81 ± 6.60 d (pear pollen), while fecundity ranged from 5.33 ± 2.35 eggs per female (beehive pollen) to 26.43 ± 1.73 eggs per female (almond pollen). The diet consisting of almond pollen resulted in the highest intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm) (1.00d-1) and pollen collected from bee hives resulted in the lowest (0.013d-1). These results showed that various pollen could favor the development of T. athenas, and also support the view that alternative food resources may play an important role in the field for sustaining and increasing the predator's population.
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