Food preference of Sancassania polyphyllae (Acari: Acaridae): living entomopathogenic nematodes or insect tissues?

Ekmen Z. I. , ÇAKMAK İ., KARAGÖZ M., HAZIR S., Ozer N., Kaya H. K.

BIOCONTROL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, vol.20, no.6, pp.553-566, 2010 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09583151003624696
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.553-566


Sancassania polyphyllae (Acari: Acaridae) adult female mites will feed on insect cadavers and infective juveniles (IJs) of entomopathogenic nematodes. Our objective was to determine whether S. polyphyllae has a food preference when offered a choice between tissues of Polyphylla fullo (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) or Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), or IJs of Steinernema feltiae (Rhabditida: Steinernematidae) or IJs of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora (Rhabditida: Heterorhabditidae). When offered a choice between no food and one of the different food sources, P. fullo, G. mellonella or S. feltiae IJs, S. polyphyllae had a significant preference for food sources compared to no food. When it was offered either no food or H. bacteriophora, there was no significant difference in the mite distribution. When offered two different food choices, P. fullo or G. mellonella, P. fullo or S. feltiae, and P. fullo or H. bacteriophora, the mite showed significant preferences for P. fullo larvae. In S. feltiae vs. G. mellonella and S. feltiae vs. H. bacteriophora experiments, S. polyphyllae showed a significant preference for S. feltiae. In three-choice experiments, S. polyphyllae had a preference for P. fullo, followed by S. feltiae, G. mellonella and H. bacteriophora, respectively. Our data confirm, in part, our hypothesis that when offered different food choices, this mite species prefers tissues of its phoretic host, P. fullo over lepidopteran host tissues or living IJs. Based on these laboratory data, H. bacteriophora should be used as a biological control agent against P. fullo over a Steinernema species.