Amblyseius swirskii

Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot

Taxonomic placing: Acari, Mesostigmata, Phytoseiidae.

Geographical distribution: This species, which is of Middle Eastern origin, is now almost cosmopolitan, due to being in commerce.

Host plants: Many indigenous and introduced plants.

Morphology: Dorsum about 0.3-0.4 mm in length, almost smooth, with a few reticulations, and 17 pairs of slightly-serrated setae, some of which are much longer, plus two pairs of lateral setae. The sternal plate bears three pairs of setae. There are three pairs of preanal setae and 3 macrosetae on leg IV.

Life history: This mite can complete a generation in 2-3 weeks and lays about 30-40 eggs. It feeds and reproduces on many small arthropods, such as mites, whiteflies, nymphs of thrips and even pollen and plant nectars. Amblyseius swirskii thrives in warm, humid sub-tropical climates, being less adapted to cold and/or dry climates. It has no winter diapause.

Economic importance: Amblyseius swirskii is an important, often controlling, predator of pest mites, whiteflies and thrips, and shows promise to control a psyllid pest of citrus. In commerce it is known as “The Swirski Mite”. It is very suitable for inclusion in pest management programs for greenhouses, because it is unaffected by insect growth regulators and insecticides like spirotetramat, applied against other pests. In addition it can survive on many non-living diets.


Abou-Awad,B.A., Hafez, S.M. and Farahat, B.M. 2014. Biological studies of the predacious mite Amblyseius swirskii, a predator of the broad mite Polyphagotarsonemus latus on pepper plants (Acari: Phytoseiidae: Tarsonemidae). Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection 47: 349-354.

Calvo F.J., Knapp M., van Houten Y.M., Hoogerbrugge H. and Belda J.E. 2015. Amblyseius swirskii: what made this predatory mite such a successful biocontrol agent? Experimental and Applied Acarology 65: 419-433.

Colomer, I. (and 6 co-authors) 2011. Field trial measuring the compatibility of methoxyfenozide and flonicamid with Orius laevigatus Fieber (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) and Amblyseius swirskii (Athias-Henriot) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in a commercial pepper greenhouse. Pest Management Science 67: 1237–1244.

Döker, I. and Kazak, C. 2019. Non-target effects of five acaricides on a native population of Amblyseius swirskii (Acari: Phytoseiidae). International Journal of Acarology 45: 69–74.

El-Laithy, A.Y.M. 1998. Laboratory studies on growth parameters of three predatory mites associated with eriophyid mites in olive nurseries. Zeitschrift für Planzenkrankheiten und Pflanzenschutz 105: 78-83.

Juan-Blasco, M., Qureshi, J.A., Urbaneja, A. and Stansley, P.A. 2012. Predatory mite, Amblyseius swirskii (Acari Phytoseiidae), for biological control of asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae). Florida Entomologist 95: 543-551.

Park, H.-H., Shipp, L. and Buitenhuis, R. 2010. Predation, development, and oviposition by the predatory mite Amblyseius swirkii (Acari: Phytoseiidae) on tomato russet mite (Acari: Eriophyidae). Journal of Economic Entomology103: 563–569.

Ragusa, S. and Swirski, E. 1975. Feeding habits, development and oviposition of the predaceous mite Amblyseius swirskii (Acarina Phytoseiidae) on pollen of various weeds. Israel Journal of Entomology 15: 55-62.

Ragusa, S. and Swirski, E. 1977. Feeding habits, post-embryonic and adult survival, mating, virility and fecundity of the predacious mite Amblyseius swirskii (Acarina: Phytoseiidae) on some coccids and mealybugs. Entomophaga 22: 383-92.

Swirski, E., Amitai, S. and Dorzia, N. 1967. Laboratory studies on the feeding, development and reproduction of the predaceous mites Amblyseius rubini Swirski & Amitai and Amblyseius swirskii Athias (Acarina: Phytoseiidae) on various kinds of food substances. Israel Journal of Agricultural Research 17: 101-19.

Wiethoff, J.1., Poehling, H.M. and Meyhöfer, R. 2004. Combining plant- and soil-dwelling predatory mites to optimise biological control of thrips. Experimental and Applied Acarology 34: 239-61.



Park, H.-H., Shipp, L. and Buitenhuis, R. 2010. Predation, development, and oviposition by the predatory mite Amblyseius swirkii (Acari: Phytoseiidae) on tomato russet mite (Acari: Eriophyidae). Journal of Economic Entomology103: 563–569.

Results showed that A, swirskii attacked all developmental stages of A. lycopersici and had a type II functional response at the prey densities tested. The attack rate and handling time estimates from the random predator equation were 0.1289/h and 0.2320 h, respectively, indicating that A. swirskii can consume 103.4 individuals per day. Predation rates of A. swirskii on A. lycopersici in the presence of alternative food sources such as pollen, first-instar thrips, or whitefly eggs were 74, 56, and 76%, respectively, compared with the predation rate on A. lycopersici alone. A. swirskii successfully completed their life cycle on either A. lycopersici or cattail (Typha latifolia L.) pollen. At 25°C and 70% RH, developmental time of female A. swirskii fed on A. lycopersici or on cattail pollen was 4.97 and 6.16 d, respectively, For the first 10 d after molting to the adult stage, A. swirskii fed on A. lycopersici had higher daily oviposition rate (2.0 eggs per day) than on pollen (1.5 eggs per day). From this laboratory study, it can be concluded that A. swirskii has promising traits as a predator against A. lycopersici and that their populations can be maintained using alternative food sources such as cattail pollen. We suggest that the effectiveness of A. swirskii against A. lycopersici under field conditions needs next to be investigated.