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Feltiella acarisuga

Predator of Spider Mites

Identification and Biology : Adult Feltiella is about 2 mm long and is pink-brown. The antennae of the male insect are long and covered with long hairs, while those of the female are shorter and thicker.  The eggs are yellowish and 0.25 mm long.  The larvae are creamy-yellow-brown and 0.25 -2 mm long.  The pupae can be found inside the white cocoons along the veins of the leaves.

Mode of action: The female adult lays the eggs inside spider mite colonies.  And the larvae begin to prey on the spider mites immediatly after hatching.  Young larvae feed mainly on spider mite eggs and older larvae feed on all stages.  The larvae eat about 50 spider mites before pupating.

Introduction method and release rates: Open release unit and hang close to spider mite hotspot.  Protect it from direct sunlight and water.  Feltiella will spread fast through the greenhouse thanks to its flying abilities.  Although Feltiella is less sensitive to low humidity than other predators, high humidity will make it easier to get established in the crop.  Feltiella is not introduced preventatively.

Storage: Introduce the beneficials as soon as possible after receipt. If storage is necessary, keep them at 8 – 10 °C (46 – 50 °F).