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A sampling technique for two-spotted mite in papaya

Halfpapp, K.H., Fay, H.A.C., Astridge, D.P. and Storey, R.I. (2000) A sampling technique for two-spotted mite in papaya. In: 31st Australian Entomological Society Conference & AGM, 26th - 30th June 2000, Darwin, Australia.

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Two-spotted mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch, was until recently regarded as a minor and infrequent pest of papaya in Queensland through the dry late winter/early summer months. The situation has changed over the past 4-5 years, so that now some growers consider spider mites significant pests all year round. This altered pest status corresponded with a substantial increase in the use of fungicides to control black spot (Asperisporium caricae). A project was initiated in 1998 to examine the potential reasons for escalating mite problems in commercially-grown papaya, which included regular sampling over a 2 year period for mites, mite damage and beneficial arthropods on a number of farms on the wet tropical coast and drier Atherton Tableland. Differences in soil type, papaya variety, chemical use and some agronomic practices were included in this assessment. Monthly visits were made to each site where 20 randomly-selected plants from each of 2 papaya lines (yellow and red types) were surveyed. Three leaves were selected from each plant, one from each of the bottom, middle and top strata of leaves. The numbers of mobile predators were recorded, along with visual estimates of the percentage and age of mite damage on each leaf. Leaves were then sprayed with hairspray to fix the mites and immature predators to the leaf surface. Four leaf disks, 25 mm in diameter, were then punched from each leaf into a 50 ml storage container with a purpose-built disk-cutting tool. Disks from each leaf position were separated by tissue paper, within the container. On return to the laboratory, each leaf disk was scrutinised under a binocular microscope to determine the numbers of two-spotted mites and eggs, predatory mites and eggs, and the immature stages of predatory insects (mainly Stethorus, Halmus and lacewings). A total of 2160 leaf disks have been examined each month. All data have been entered into an Access database to facilitate comparisons between sites.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:© Australian Entomological Society.
Keywords:Two-spotted mite; Tetranycyus urticae Koch; sampling technique.
Subjects:Plant pests and diseases > Individual or types of plants or trees
Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection > Inspection. Quarantine
Live Archive:09 Jul 2004
Last Modified:19 Feb 2024 02:25

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