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  • The Life Cycle of the Coffee Phytoseiid Mite Amblyseius herbicolus(chant) and its Possible Use in Biological Control of Pests

    As it was thought that the phytoseiid mite Amblyseius herbicolus may be of use as a biological control of Brevipalpus phoenicis in coffee plantations Reis and colleagues decided to investigate the mite further. They were interested in its life cycle, its fertility and its predatory aspects.

    Life Cycle of the Phytoseiid Mite Amblyseius herbicolus

    It was found under the controlled conditions that the average life span of the female phytoseiid mite Amblyseius herbicolus (chant) was 37.9 days plus or minus 5.5 days. Interestingly no males were found in the population of mites, this supports previous reports by Moraes and Mesa that Amblyseius herbicolus breeds by thelytoky.

    The life cycle consisted of Egg stage (1.5 days), larvae (1.2 days), protonymph (1 day) and protonymph (1.3 days). In total the average egg to adult transition period lasted approximately 6.9 days.

    Predatory Activity of the Phytoseiid Mite

    It was found that both the nymphs and adults of Amblyseius herbicolus (chant) predated Brevipalpus phoenicis, with the adult female being the most efficient predator. The phytoseiid mites only predated about 30% of the prey available to them, indicating that they are not prolific pests of the coffee mites.

    Fertility of the Phytoseiid Mite

    The phytoseiid mite Amblyseius herbicolus was found to be an highly effective predator, being able to double its population every 4.6 days in the presence of its prey once established. The average generation time was 25.3 days.

    It is thought by the authors that the phytoseiid mite will make an ideal biological control for the coffee pest coffee ring spot mite, and with other predatory mites its use should be integrated into the agroecological management of coffee plantations.


    Reis et al (2007). Life History of Amblyseius herbicolus (Chant) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) on Coffee Plants. Neotropical Entomology 36:282 to 287
    Moraes and Mesa (1988). Mites of the family Phytoseiidae (Acari) in Columbia, with descriptions of three new species. Int. J. Acarol. 17: 117 to 139