Thermal activity thresholds of the predatory mirid Nesidiocoris tenuis: Implications for its efficacy as a biological control agent

  • Hughes G
  • Alford L
  • Sterk G
 et al. 
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This study investigates the thermal activity thresholds of the predatory mirid Nesidiocoris tenuis Reuter (Hemiptera: Miridae) and two spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae). Adult N. tenuis lost locomotory function and entered chill coma at significantly lower temperatures (4.0°C and 0.3°C, respectively) than adult T. urticae (7.0°C and 5.7°C, respectively). However, the mirids were more adversely affected by high temperatures, with T. urticae losing the ability to walk and entering heat coma at higher temperatures (47.3°C and 49.7°C, respectively) than N. tenuis (43.5°C and 46.6°C, respectively). Across a range of temperatures (2.5–20°C) adult N. tenuis had faster walking speeds than T. urticae . These data are discussed in relation to the climatic conditions under which N. tenuis would be an effective biocontrol agent.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biocontrol
  • CTmax
  • CTmin
  • Chill coma
  • Heat coma
  • Nesidiocoris tenuis

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  • Gwennan E. Hughes

  • Lucy Alford

  • Guido Sterk

  • Jeffrey S. Bale

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