Iphiseius degenerans (Berlese).
Taxonomic placing: Acari, Mesostigmata, Phytoseiidae.
Geographical distribution: Africa, Mediterranean basin, and introduced to other regions.
Morphology: Dorsum almost round, strongly sclerotized, dark-brown, with 15 pairs of very short (except the anterior pair) setae plus 2 lateral pairs. Sternal plate with three pairs of setae, ventrianal plate separated into ventral and anal plate. Leg IV with 3 macrosetae.
Life history: The threshold of development of this species is around 11°C, and its optimal conditions appear to be around 25°C. At this temperature each female produced around 60 eggs, a generation required about one week and longevity was 4-6 weeks. Iphiseius degenerans¬ feeds and develops on spider mites, thrips, on pollen (which is the optimal diet) and on the nectar from extrafloral nectaries. The mite is well adapted to relatively high temperatures that occur in the Mediterranean region, and has no winter diapause.
Economic importance: An important predator of several major pests, such as spider mites (showing a distinct preference for Eutetranychus orientalis over Tetranychus urticae), rust mites (like Phyllocoptruta oleivora) and thrips (like Frankliniella orientalis). This mite has been introduced into several countries for the control of these and other pests, and is in commerce. Exposing the predator to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Bals.-Criv.) Vuill., and to neem caused some mortality.
Fantinou, A.A., Baxevani, A., Drizou, F., Labropoulos, P., Perdikis D. and Papadoulis, G. 2012. Consumption rate, functional response and preference of the predaceous mite Iphiseius degenerans to Tetranychus urticae and Eutetranychus orientalis. Experimental and Applied Acarology 58: 133–144.
Ludwig, S.W. and Oetting, R.D. 2001. Susceptibility of natural enemies to infection by Beauveria bassiana and impact of insecticides on Ipheseius degenerans (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Journal of Agricultural and Urban Entomology 18: 169-178.
Palevsky, E., Argov, Y., Ben David, T. and Gerson, U. 2003. Identification and evaluation of potential predators of the citrus rust mite, Phyllocoptruta oleivora, in Israel. Systematic and Applied Acarology) 8: 39-48.
Tsoukanas, V.I., Papadopoulos, C.D., Fantinou, A.A. and Papadoulis, G.T. 2006. Temperature-dependent development and life tables of Iphiseius degenerans (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Environmental Entomology 35: 212-218.
Vantornhout, I., Minnaert, H.L., Tirry, L. and De Clercq, P. 2005. Influence of diet on life table parameters of Iphiseius degenerans (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Experimental and Applied Acarology 35: 183-95.
van Rijn, P.C.J. and Tanigoshi, L.K. 1999b. The contribution of extrafloral nectar to survival and reproduction of the predatory mite Iphiseius degenerans on Ricinus communis. Experimental and Applied Acarology 23: 281-296.