Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acari: Tetranychidae) is an important pest of clementine mandarins, Citrus reticulata Blanco, in Spain. As a first step toward the development of an integrated crop management program for clementines, dispersion patterns of T. urticae females were determined for different types of leaves and fruit. The study was carried out between 2001 and 2003 in different commercial clementine orchards in the provinces of Castelló and Tarragona (northeastern Spain). We found that symptomatic leaves (those exhibiting typical chlorotic spots) harbored 57.1% of the total mite counts. Furthermore, these leaves were representative of mite dynamics on other leaf types. Therefore, symptomatic leaves were selected as a sampling unit. Dispersion patterns generated by Taylor’s power law demonstrated the occurrence of aggregated patterns of spatial distribution (b > 1.21) on both leaves and fruit. Based on these results, the incidence (proportion of infested samples) and mean density relationship were developed. We found that optimal binomial sample sizes for estimating low populations of T. urticae on leaves (up to 0.2 female per leaf) were very large. Therefore, enumerative sampling would be more reliable within this range of T. urticae densities. However, binomial sampling was the only valid method for estimating mite density on fruit.
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Vol. 99 • No. 4