Cold hardiness of the broad mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Acari: Tarsonemidae)

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    The cold hardiness of the broad mite, Polyphagotarsonemus latus, a key pest in Rhododendron simsii hybrid production in northwestern Europe, was investigated in the laboratory. Survival of eggs, larvae and female adults and reproduction capacity of female P. latus were evaluated following cold exposure at 7 °C. Adult females were also exposed to temperatures of 2 and -3 °C. Further, the supercooling point and lower lethal times of adult females were determined. No eggs survived exposure to 7 °C for 17 or more days. Larval survival upon the cold treatment decreased from 53 to 13% when exposed to 7 °C for 14 and 49 days, respectively. Two-day-old adult females exposed to 7 °C for up to 42 days did not suffer significant mortality, but when returned to 25°C their oviposition rates were lower than those of mites maintained at 25°C. Less than 40% of females exposed for 13 days to 2 °C survived; only 20% of these females was able to reproduce upon recovery. Subzero temperatures dramatically decreased survival and reproduction capacity of adult females. The supercooling point of female adults was -16.5 °C. Median lethal times averaged 61.2 hours and 9.3 days at -3 and 2 °C, respectively. In conclusion, a long term exposure (up to 6 weeks) of R. simsii plants infested with P. latus to a temperature of 7 °C, which is required for breaking dormancy of the flowers, is not expected to have detrimental effects on the survival and reproductive performance of the female mites.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
    Issue number1
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 11-Mar-2015


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