Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.18, Issue 04, 2012; Page No.(793-798)

POPULATION ABUNDANCE AND SEASONAL ACTIVITY OF OLIGONYCHUS AFRASIATICUS (MCGREGOR) AND ITS PREDATOR STETHORUS GILVIFRONS (MULSANT) IN BAM REGION, IRAN

Arezoo Payandeh and Azita Dehghan

Abstract

The population densities and spatial distribution pattern of Oligonychus afrasiaticus (McGregor) and its prey Stethorus gilvifrons (Mulsant) determined in four date palm orchards in Bam, a southern province of Iran, from 1th May until early September, 2011. Population density of the phytophagous mites and its predator were counted on 64 fruits with its pinnae (sampling unit) weekly. The highest population density of O. afrasiaticus and S. gilvifrons were recorded in 15th (7 August) and 16th (14 August) sampling week, respectively. Spatial distribution pattern O. afrasiaticus and S. gilvifrons was described using variance to mean ratios, Taylor’s power law coefficient and Iwao’s patchiness regression methods. Distribution pattern was aggregated for O. afrasiaticus and random distribution for its predator. The collected data had better fit to Taylor’s model for O. afrasiaticus and S. gilvifrons (r2 = 0.942 and 0.973, respectively) in comparison with Iwao’s model (r2 = 0.912 and 0.862, respectively). Spatial distribution coefficient of the tetranychoid mites and its predator could be used to improve sampling programs and to estimate the population densities and the efficacy of the predator being used in orchards IPM.

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