Seasonal population dynamics of an herbivorous mite has been documented in terms of the relationship between thermoresponses and temporal biological factors such as resource availability or predation risk. Although recent studies emphasize the deleterious effects of solar ultraviolet-B (UVB; 280–320 nm wavelengths) radiation on plant-dwelling mites, how UVB affects mite population remains largely unknown. On a wild shrub Viburnum erosum var. punctatum in Kyoto, an herbivorous false spider mite, Brevipalpus obovatus Donnadieu, occurs only in autumn. Females of this species lay one-third of their eggs on upper leaf surfaces. Oviposition on upper surfaces is beneficial for avoiding predation by phytoseiids, but exposes eggs to solar UVB and heat stress. To test the hypothesis that the seasonal occurrence of this mite is determined by interactions between solar UVB radiation and temperature, we examined variation in egg hatching success under near-ambient and UV-attenuated sunlight conditions from spring to autumn. The UV-attenuation significantly improved hatching success. However, most eggs died under heat stress regardless of UV treatments in July and August. We established a deterministic heat stress—cumulative UVB dose—egg hatching success response model, which we applied to meteorological data. The model analyses illustrated lower and higher survivability peaks in late May and October, respectively, which partly corresponded to data for annual field occurrence, indicating the importance of solar UVB radiation and heat stress as determinants of the seasonal occurrence of this mite.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6