Thanks to its polyphagous character and its adaptability to high temperatures, this gluttonous predatory mite plays an important role in biological crop protection.
Whiteflies and thrips now have a tremendous adversary.
Amblyseius (Typhlodromips) swirskii is a polyphagous predatory mite, meaning that it feeds on several preys. For a fast growth of its population, A. swirskii needs a satisfactory food source and prefers whitefly and thrips. A. swirskii also feeds on pollen and in a certain degree on spider mites and tarsonemid mites. This gluttonous predator can be used in sweet pepper, cucumber, eggplant, strawberry and some ornamental crops.
The whitefly’s larvae feed on plant juice and the surplus on sugar will be excreted as sticky honeydew. The honeydew improves the growth of moulds and this interferes in the photosynthesis and transpiration of the plant. Furthermore, whiteflies are true vectors of many viruses such as TYLCV.
It is especially the eggs in the primary larval stage of greenhouse whitefly as well as tobacco whitefly that A. swirskii feeds on. It can consume about 10 eggs and young larvae a day.
Thrips cause damages in many different ways in the crop. Plant cells emptied of their content by the feeding of thrips take a grey or silver colour. Also, thrips excrements can lower the value of ornamental crops. Eggs are laid in the leaf tissue and can be recognized as warty suberizations. Depending on the type of crop, deformations and discolorations of the leaf, fruit and flowers are detected. Thrips are also known vectors of many viruses.
A. swirskii mainly eats the young thrips larvae. The predator capacity can be compared with that of A. cucumeris which means that about 5 larvae are consumed a day.
Amblyseius swirskii originates from the
The predatory mite does not know a diapauses and so it is also applicable during periods with less light.
In optimal climate and feeding conditions, its total life cycle will take 5 to 6 days and the females will lay about 2 eggs.
A population of A. swirskii will grow very fast and will spread among the crop as long as the ideal circumstances are guaranteed. We can find the predatory mite on the entire plant, but it has a slight preference for the upper part of pollinating crops. To stimulate the spread among the crop, it is recommended to disperse the mites well. The gland hairs on a tomato leaf, honeydew spots and spider webs obstruct the mite’s mobility.
The external differences between A. swirskii, A. cucumeris or A. californicus can not be distinguished with the naked eye or under a magnifying glass. These differences can only be observed under the microscope.
Biobest delivers A. swirskii in the following formulations:
The ideal storage temperature is 15 °C. At this temperature the predatory mites remain in optimal condition during maximum 1 week. Low temperatures have a negative influence on A. swirskii. Store the mites in a dark place with enough ventilation to avoid the narcotic effects of a possible CO2 accumulation. Nevertheless, always introduce the predatory mites as soon as possible to prevent unpredictable temperature fluctuations!
The greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) is a typical greenhouse pest that affects many crops.
Adult thrips are small, elongated insects with typical fringed wings. They measure about 1 mm, and have a greyish or yellow to brown colour. The two most common harmful species are the onion thrips (Thrips tabaci) and the western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis).
First cycle (December - end of April):
Second and third cycle (Beginning of May - beginning of July / mid July – autumn):