Non-phytoseiid Mesostigmata within citrus orchards in Florida: species distribution, relative and seasonal abundance within trees, associated vines and ground cover plants and additional collection records of mites in citrus orchards
Childers, Carl C.
Ueckermann, Eduard A.
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Seven citrus orchards on reduced- to no-pesticide spray programs in central and south central Florida were sampled for non-phytoseiid mesostigmatid mites. Inner and outer canopy leaves, fruits, twigs and trunk scrapings were sampled monthly between August 1994 and January 1996. Open flowers were sampled in March from five of the sites. A total of 431 samples from one or more of 82 vine or ground cover plants were sampled monthly in five of the seven orchards. Two of the seven orchards (Mixon I and II) were on full herbicide programs and vines and ground cover plants were absent. A total of 2,655 mites (26 species) within the families: Ascidae, Blattisociidae, Laelapidae, Macrochelidae, Melicharidae, Pachylaelapidae and Parasitidae were identified. A total of 685 mites in the genus Asca (nine species: family Ascidae) were collected from within tree samples, 79 from vine or ground cover plants. Six species of Blattisociidae were collected: Aceodromus convolvuli, Blattisocius dentriticus, B. keegani, Cheiroseius sp. near jamaicensis, Lasioseius athiashenriotae and L. dentatus. A total of 485 Blattisociidae were collected from within tree samples compared with 167 from vine or ground cover plants. Low numbers of Laelapidae and Macrochelidae were collected from within tree samples. One Zygoseius furciger (Pachylaelapidae) was collected from Eleusine indica. Four species of Melicharidae were identified from 34 mites collected from within tree samples and 1,190 from vine or ground cover plants: Proctolaelaps lobatus was the most abundant species with 1,177 specimens collected from seven ground cover plants. One Phorytocarpais fimetorum (Parasitidae) was collected from inner leaves and four from twigs. Species of Ascidae, Blattisociidae, Melicharidae, Laelapidae and Pachylaelapidae were collected from 31 of the 82 vine or ground cover plants sampled, representing only a small fraction of the total number of Phytoseiidae collected from the same plants. Including the collection records of Martin Muma prior to 1975, a total of 69 species of Ascidae, Blattisociidae, Laelapidae, Macrochelidae, Melicharidae, Pachylaelapidae and Parasitidae have now been reported from citrus in Florida