Weeds as alternative substrates to phytoseiids (Acari, Phytoseiidae) in rubbertree Hevea brasilienis, Muell. Arg. (Euphorbiaceae) cultivation

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Soc Brasileira Zoologia, Univ Federal Parana


The objective of this study was to determine weed species of rubber tree cultivation areas that could serve as reservoirs of predatory mites. The work was conducted in Olimpia, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in two rubber tree plantations. Every three months, about 1.000 cm(3) of leaves of each one of the five dominant weeds in each plantation was taken to determine the phytoseiids. As the dominant weeds varied during the study, a total of 20 species were evaluated. Only Cecropia sp. was a dominant weed throughout the study, in both plantations. A total of 336 phytoseiids of the following species were found: Euseius citrifolius Denmark & Muma, 1970, E. concordis (Chant, 1959), Galendromus annectens (DeLeon, 1958), Iphiseiodes zuluagai Denmark & Muma, 1972, Neoseiulus anonymus (Chant & Baker, 1965) and N. tunus (DeLeon,1967). E. citrifolius (189 specimens) and N. tunus (138 specimens) were the most abundant species. The highest abundance (231 specimens) and diversity (5 species) were observed on Cecropia sp. On this plant was found the largest number of mites per sample (29 specimens), followed by Piper duncum Linnaeus (22), Guarea sp. (18) and Ageratum conyzoides Linnaeus (12). E. citrifolius has been determined as the most abundant predatory mite on rubber trees in the region where this work was conducted. Cecropia sp. seems to be the most important of the weeds considered as reservoir of E citrifolius because it is continuously present in the plantations. Complementary studies could indicate the viability of managing this weed in or around rubber tree plantations to promote the biological control of mite pests on that crop.



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Revista Brasileira De Zoologia. Curitiba: Soc Brasileira Zoologia, Univ Federal Parana, v. 22, n. 1, p. 35-42, 2005.