An improved method for rearing Halotydeus destructor (Acari: Penthaleidae) in the laboratory

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We developed an improved method for rearing Halotydeus destructor in the laboratory. Mite numbers increased rapidly over the summer of 1992-1993 when fed on vetch, Vicia sativa cv Blanchefleur; in contrast mite numbers were low and fell over the second half of the summer of 1990-91 when fed on subterranean clover, Trifolium subterraneum cv Junee. On V. sativa at a fluctuating temperature from 11 to 18°C 200 mites produced a mean of 1308 and 1455 progeny per transfer in 2 years, a 6-7-fold rate of increase per transfer. The mean transfer time was 35 days and using the interval between transfers as a measure of generation time, the mites completed six to seven generations with no evidence for development of diapause eggs from August until April. There was considerable variability in the numbers of mites produced per pot, associated in part with the presence of Verticillium sp. fungus in 35% of the pots during transfers. Improvement in H. destructor rearing resulted from the use of V. sativa cv Blanchefleur as a food source, maintenance of high humidity and adequate ventilation within cages, and the transfer of mites to fresh food sources at early nymphal stages, which reduced the spread of fungal infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-345
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995


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