Infochemical-mediated niche use by the predatory mites Typhlodromalus manihoti and T. aripo (Acari: Phytoseiidae) uri icon

abstract

  • In Africa, Typhlodromalus manihoti and T. aripo, two introduced predators of the cassava green mite Mononychellus tanajoa, occupy different parts of cassava foliage. In the present study, niche use by these two predators, as mediated by prey-induced infochemicals, was investigated. In response to prey feeding damage, cassava plant parts emit volatile blends, that attract phytoseiidae predators. When given a choice between old cassava leaves infested with M. tanajoa and either apices or young cassava leaves infested with M. tanajoa, T. aripo displayed a marked preference for odors emitted from either infested apices or infested young leaves over infested old leaves but showed no preference for odors from apices versus young leaves, all infested with M. tanajoa. Typhlodromalus manihoti did not discriminate between volatiles from the three infested cassava plant parts. Our data show that T. aripo uses differences in volatile blends released by infested cassava plant parts and restricts its fundamental niche to a realized niche, which enables coexistence with its competitor T. manihoti.

publication date

  • 2003
  • 2003