Neoseiulus bicaudus (Wainstein) is a natural enemy of spider mite and thrip and also a potential biocontrol agent for Tetranychus turkestani (Tetranychidae). Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Schrank) is an important alternative prey of N. bicaudus for mass rearing. We aimed to determine whether previous long-term feeding history, rearing on alternative prey versus target prey affected the performance of N. bicaudus. Therefore, the prey preference and functional response of predatory mites were compared between three strains: N. bicaudus fed on T. turkestani (TTS); N. bicaudus fed on T. putrescentiae (TPS); and N. bicaudus re-adapted from T. putrescentiae to T. turkestani (TPRS). When fed with the target prey, the preference rate and consumption of the TPS strain were significantly lower than the TTS strain. In addition, after 3-day-re-adaptation, the predatory mites (TPRS) increased their preference rate and consumption to target prey. The results suggested that re-adaptation before release could improve the ability of N. bicaudus to control its target prey.
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Vol. 24 • No. 3