Amblydromalus limonicus is a species of predatory mite known for its role in biological pest control. Amblydromalus limonicus is a natural enemy of various pests like thrips and whitefly. These predatory mites are employed as part of integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, offering a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pesticides. Amblydromalus limonicus is valued for its effectiveness at relatively low temperatures and is especially recommended to suppress high densities of thrips and whitefly.
Amblydromalus limonicus for pest control
Amblydromalus limonicus is used for the control of the following pests:
Amblydromalus limonicus is a generalist predatory mite feeding on whiteflies, thrips, other small insects and mites. Like other generalist predatory mites, it can also feed on pollen. Amblydromalus limonicus prefers the larvae of various species of thrips (first and second larval stages) and eggs and larvae of greenhouse whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) and tobacco whitefly (Bemisia tabaci).
Feeding behaviour of Amblydromalus limonicus
Predatory mites pierce their prey and suck out the contents. In addition to whiteflies and thrips, Amblydromalus limonicus preys on several other small organisms such as spider mites and tarsonemid mites. They can also feed on pollen and take fluids from leaves, which is useful for instance in sweet pepper crops as the predatory mite can establish in the crop before the pest appears. Amblydromalus limonicus can feed on eggs, crawlers and larvae of whiteflies and first and second instar larvae of thrips. Young whitefly eggs (less than 24 hours old, white in colour) are a much better prey than older whitefly eggs (more than 24 hours old, brown in colour). At 25°C under optimal conditions, an adult female Amblydromalus limonicus lays 3.7 eggs per day on young eggs, 1.2 eggs per day on older eggs and 3.3-3.4 eggs per day on crawlers and nymphs. It consumes about 7 first instar larvae of thrips and lays 3 eggs per day at 25°C under optimal conditions.
Life cycle of Amblydromalus limonicus
The life cycle of Amblydromalus limonicus consists of the following stages: egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, and adult. Eggs are laid on the underside of leaves. They are oval, white, and are approximately 0.14 mm in diameter. The larvae have six legs, are the same colour as the eggs, and are only slightly larger. The larvae of Amblydromalus limonicus have to feed. If they do not have access to food, they develop very slowly and the mortality is high. The nymphs are larger than the larvae, have eight legs, and are a whitish yellow colour. Adult mites have eight legs, are translucent white in colour, and have a flat, elongated body. They are roughly 0.4 mm in length. Males are smaller than females. The mites are very mobile and actively search for food on the underside of leaves. Their colour can vary according to the prey eaten and they are sometimes greenish in colour when they take fluids from the leaves. Due to their size and colour they are difficult to spot in the crop.
Best conditions for use of Amblydromalus limonicus
Amblydromalus limonicus is most effective at temperatures between 13 and 25°C (55 and 77°F). It is not effective above 30°C (86°F). Amblydromalus limonicus is sensitive to relative humidity below 70%.
In tomato, use of Amblydromalus limonicus is not recommended as it is hindered by the glandular hairs on the stems and leaves and does not build up a population.
How to use Amblydromalus limonicus
The predatory mite Amblydromalus limonicus is available in a bottle (Limonica).
- Turn and shake bottle gently before use
- Push the centre of the cap to open the dosage hole
- Carefully sprinkle material on leaves
- Make sure the material remains on the leaves for at least a few hours after introduction
- Can also be applied with (Mini)-Air(o)bug
The dosage of Limonica depends on climate, crop and pest density and should always be adjusted to the particular situation. Start introduction as soon as the first pests are detected in the crop. Introduction rates typically range from 50-250 per m2/release. Releases should be repeated once or twice, or until control is achieved. Consult a Koppert advisor or a recognized distributor of Koppert products for advice on the best strategy for your situation.