Neoseiulus californicus (predator)
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Neoseiulus californicus (predator) (McGregor, 1954)
This predatory mite is wide-spread in subtropical and temperate parts of Europe, Asia and America and has been used in biological control programs for many years. It feeds on different types of spider mites, as well as on thrips. For example, it is effective against the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) and the citrus red mite (Panonychus citri). It is being produced commercially in several countries.
Apart from being a generalist, N. californicus can survive on pollen in the absence of prey, although females then show a reduction in egg-production by 30-40%. It is also tolerant to fluctuating environmental conditions and can tolerate high temperatures or low humidity.
The development from egg, through the larval and nymphal stages, to the adult stage depends on the temperature and lasts 5-6 days at 26°C. In the field it overwinters in the adult stage under fallen leaf litter and some strains can survive freezing temperatures.