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Journal: Experimental & applied acarology


Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) beta acids (HBA) were tested for miticidal effects on varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman, a parasitic mite of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.). When varroa were placed on bees that had topical applications of 1 % HBA, there was 100 % mite mortality. Bee mortality was unaffected. Cardboard strips saturated with HBA and placed in colonies resulted in mite drop that was significantly greater than in untreated hives. HBA was detected on about 60 % of the bees in colonies during the first 48 h after application. Mite drop in colonies lasted for about 7 days with the highest drop occurring in the first 2-3 days after treatment. There was a reduction in the percentages of bees with HBA and in the amounts on their bodies after 7 days. Bee and queen mortality in the colonies were not affected by HBA treatments. When cardboard strips saturated with HBA were put in packages of bees, more than 90 % of the mites were killed without an increase in bee mortality. HBA might have potential to control varroa when establishing colonies from packages or during broodless periods.

Concepts: Insect, Honey bee, Beekeeping, Bumblebee, Mite, Varroa destructor, Humulus lupulus, Hops


Laboratory studies were developed to evaluate the compatibility of flufenoxuron and azadirachtin with Beauveria bassiana against Tetranychus urticae larvae along with the required Probit analysis of the involved chemicals on all of the life stages of this mite. Flufenoxuron displayed parallel regression lines for the mortality of eggs, deutonymphs and adults. Larvae and protonymphs were the most susceptible life stages. Protonymphs were 35 times more sensitive than eggs and adults. Azadirachtin gave equal mortality on proto- and deutonymphs. The response of eggs and adults was equivalent when treated with azadirachtin. The regression lines for proto- and deutonymphs were parallel to those of adults and eggs yet three times more sensitive. The effects of separate combinations of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana at its LC(20) with flufenoxuron and azadirachtin at their corresponding LC(40) were evaluated on mite larvae. The application of flufenoxuron with B. bassiana revealed a clear synergy. While the combination of azadirachtin and B. bassiana had an additive effect. These combinations with B. bassiana could improve mite control by contributing to a decline in the likelihood of resistance so often described in the literature.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Effect, Probit model, Combination, Tetranychus urticae, Tetranychus, Beauveria bassiana, Beauveria


Lethal and sublethal effects of the biopesticide Kingbo (oxymatrine 0.2 % + psoralen 0.4 %) on the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) were investigated in laboratory bioassays. The biopesticide was applied to bean leaf discs or primary leaves by using a Potter spray tower. Acute toxicity tests showed no significant ovicidal action: toxic effect (LC50 = 55.49 μl/l) was the result of a residual activity against larvae that hatched from the treated eggs. Preovipositional females and female teleiochrysales showed similar susceptibility (LC50 = 52.68 and 59.03 μl/l, respectively), whereas larvae, protonymphs and female deutonymphs were the most susceptible stages (LC50 = 6.88, 13.03, and 8.80 μl/l, respectively). In a choice test, females preferred the untreated halves of leaves over the halves treated with 2,000, 1,000, and 500 μl/l in the first 24 h, and their oviposition in those treatments was significantly greater on the untreated halves after 24 and 48 h, as well as the summed oviposition over 72 h. Viability and reproduction of survivors, as well as population growth, were strongly affected after the treatments of preovipositional females and female teleiochrysales with 100, 50 and 25 μl/l. On the other hand, sublethal effects on the females that survived treatment at the egg stage or reached adulthood from the eggs laid on the treated surface (treatments with 50 and 25 μl/l) were significantly weaker. Acaricidal and sublethal effects of the biopesticide Kingbo were discussed as a starting point for further research aimed to improve management of T. urticae populations. Regulatory issues and safety concerns regarding further commercialization of this biopesticide are addressed as well.

Concepts: Toxicity, Acari, Arachnid, Tetranychus urticae, Spider mite, Tetranychus, Acariformes, The Egg


Larval packet test was used for detection of resistance levels against cypermethrin and deltamethrin, the most commonly used synthetic pyrethroids, in the multi-host tick Hyalomma anatolicum collected from district Moga, Punjab (India). Results indicated the presence of level I resistance against deltamethrin (RF = 2.81), whereas the tick isolate was susceptible to cypermethrin (RF = 0.2). The aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves of Cymbopogon winterianus, Vitex negundo and Withania somnifera along with roots of Vitex negundo were assessed for their acaricidal activity against the larvae of deltamethrin resistant H. anatolicum. The efficacy was assessed by measuring per cent larval mortality and determination of LC50 values. The various ethanolic extracts produced a concentration dependent increase in larval tick mortality, whereas the aqueous extracts exhibited a much lower mortality. The highest mortality (93.7 ± 0.66 %) was observed at the 5.0 % concentration of ethanolic extract of leaves of C. winterianus and the lowest LC50 value (0.011 %) was recorded for ethanolic extracts of leaves of V. negundo. The results indicated that these plant extracts have potential to be developed as herbal acaricides.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemistry, Assessment, Pyrethroid, Withania somnifera, Cymbopogon, Punjab, Vitex negundo


We investigated the effects of changes in vapor pressure deficit (VPD) on the survival of diapausing (winter form) and non-diapausing (summer form) spider mites Tetranychus urticae Koch and Tetranychus kanzawai Kishida (Acari: Tetranychidae). Adult females of both species were kept without food at VPDs of 0.0, 0.4, 0.7, 1.5, 1.9, or 2.7 kPa for 3, 6, 9, 12, or 15 days at 25 °C. Diapausing females of both species kept at a VPD of ≥0.4 kPa for ≥6 days clearly tolerated desiccation. Under water-saturated conditions (VPD = 0.0 kPa), in which no desiccation occurred, diapausing females showed high starvation tolerance: 90 % survived for up to 15 days. No interspecific differences in tolerance to desiccation or starvation were observed under most conditions. These results indicate that diapause functions increase tolerance to desiccation and starvation. Such multiple tolerances to harsh environments might support winter survival in spider mites.

Concepts: Pressure, Acari, Arachnid, Vapor pressure, Tetranychus urticae, Spider mite, Tetranychus, Acariformes


The objective of this study was to assess the effects of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) with different grooming ability and queen pheromone status on mortality rates of Varroa mites (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman), mite damage, and mortality rates of honey bees. Twenty-four small queenless colonies containing either stock selected for high rates of mite removal (n = 12) or unselected stock (n = 12) were maintained under constant darkness at 5 °C. Colonies were randomly assigned to be treated with one of three queen pheromone status treatments: (1) caged, mated queen, (2) a synthetic queen mandibular pheromone lure (QMP), or (3) queenless with no queen substitute. The results showed overall mite mortality rate was greater in stock selected for grooming than in unselected stock. There was a short term transitory increase in bee mortality rates in selected stock when compared to unselected stock. The presence of queen pheromone from either caged, mated queens or QMP enhanced mite removal from clusters of bees relative to queenless colonies over short periods of time and increased the variation in mite mortality over time relative to colonies without queen pheromone, but did not affect the proportion of damaged mites. The effects of source of bees on mite damage varied with time but damage to mites was not reliably related to mite mortality. In conclusion, this study showed differential mite removal of different stocks was possible under low temperature. Queen status should be considered when designing experiments using bioassays for grooming response.

Concepts: Insect, Honey bee, Beekeeping, Bumblebee, Mite, Varroa destructor, Varroa, Varroa jacobsoni


Haemaphysalis qinghaiensis, a prevalent tick species in China, is an ectoparasite that preferentially infests small ruminants and can transmit Theileria sp. and Babesia sp. In this study, we evaluated the pathogenicity of individual and mixed infections of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae to H. qinghaiensis nymphs. The estimated LC50 for ticks immersed in solutions of B. bassiana, M. anisopliae and a mixture thereof were: 5.88056 × 10(4), 2.65 × 10(4), and 2.85 × 10(4) conidia mL(-1) respectively, and the nymphal mortality ranged from 52 to 100 %. Thus, these results suggest a potential approach for the biocontrol of H. qinghaiensis.

Concepts: Bacteria, Fungus, Lyme disease, Tick, Babesiosis, Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, Hypocreales


Varroa mites are a serious pest of honey bees and the leading cause of colony losses. Varroa have relatively low reproductive rates, so populations should not increase rapidly, but often they do. Other factors might contribute to the growth of varroa populations including mite migration into colonies on foragers from other hives. We measured the proportion of foragers carrying mites on their bodies while entering and leaving hives, and determined its relationship to the growth of varroa populations in those hives at two apiary sites. We also compared the estimates of mite population growth with predictions from a varroa population dynamics model that generates estimates of mite population growth based on mite reproduction. Samples of capped brood and adult bees indicated that the proportion of brood cells infested with mites and adult bees with phoretic mites was low through the summer but increased sharply in the fall especially at site 1. The frequency of capturing foragers with mites on their bodies while entering or leaving hives also increased in the fall. The growth of varroa populations at both sites was not significantly related to our colony estimates of successful mite reproduction, but instead to the total number of foragers with mites (entering and leaving the colony). There were more foragers with mites at site 1 than site 2, and mite populations at site 1 were larger especially in the fall. The model accurately estimated phoretic mite populations and infested brood cells until November when predictions were much lower than those measured in colonies. The rapid growth of mite populations particularly in the fall being a product of mite migration rather than mite reproduction only is discussed.

Concepts: Insect, Population, Population ecology, Honey bee, Beekeeping, Mite, Carrying capacity, Varroa destructor


The castor bean tick, Ixodes ricinus (L.) (Ixodida: Ixodidae), is the principal vector of pathogens causing tick-borne encephalitis or Lyme borreliosis in Europe. It is therefore of general interest to make an estimate of the density of I. ricinus for the whole year at the beginning of the tick season. There are two necessary conditions for making a successful prediction: a long homogeneous time series of observed tick density and a clear biological relationship between environmental predictors and tick density. A 9-year time series covering the period 2009-2017 of nymphal I. ricinus flagged at monthly intervals in southern Germany has been used. With the hypothesis that I. ricinus density is triggered by the fructification of the European beech 2 years before, the mean annual temperature of the previous year, and the current mean winter temperature (December-February), a forecast of the annual nymphal tick density has been made. Therefore, a Poisson regression model was generated resulting in an explained variance of 93.4% and an error of [Formula: see text] ticks per [Formula: see text] (annual [Formula: see text] collected ticks/[Formula: see text]). An independent verification of the forecast for the year 2017 resulted in 187 predicted versus 180 observed nymphs per [Formula: see text]. For the year 2018 a relatively high number of 443 questing I. ricinus nymphs per [Formula: see text] is forecasted, i.e., a “good” tick year.


Copulation in Ixodes scapularis involves physical contact between the male and female (on or off the host), male mounting of the female, insertion/maintenance of the male chelicerae in the female genital pore (initiates spermatophore production), and the transfer of the spermatophore by the male into the female genital pore. Bioassays determined that male mounting behavior/chelicerae insertion required direct contact with the female likely requiring non-volatile chemical cues with no evidence of a female volatile sex pheromone to attract males. Unfed virgin adult females and replete mated adult females elicited the highest rates of male chelicerae insertion with part fed virgin adult females exhibiting a much lower response. Whole body surface hexane extracts of unfed virgin adult females and males, separately analyzed by GC-MS, identified a number of novel tick surface associated compounds: fatty alcohols (1-hexadecanol and 1-heptanol), a fatty amide (erucylamid), aromatic hydrocarbons, a short chain alkene (1-heptene), and a carboxylic acid ester (5β-androstane). These compounds are discussed in terms of their potential role in female-male communication. The two most abundant fatty acid esters found were butyl palmitate and butyl stearate present in ratios that were sex specific. Only 6 n-saturated hydrocarbons were identified in I. scapularis ranging from 10 to 18 carbons.

Concepts: Alcohol, Male, Reproduction, Fatty acid, Sex, Carboxylic acid, Ester, Lithium aluminium hydride