Supply of alternative food is generally thought to enhance the performance of generalist predatory mites. The effects of three different pollens (maize, date palm, and bee-collected pollen) as supplementary diets on the life table and predation capacity of Neoseiulus californicus McGregor (Acari: Phytoseiidae) on two-spotted spider mite (TSSM) were determined. Total fecundity on TSSM in the presence of the pollen was significantly higher than those on the pollen alone. The intrinsic rate of increase (r) on TSSM in the presence of the maize pollen (0.1409 day-1) was significantly higher than those on TSSM (as control) and/or the other diets. In addition, N. californicus consumed fewer prey in the presence of the maize pollen than the other pollen types. However, lower prey consumption in the presence of this pollen was compensated by an increase in reproduction and survive. In conclusion, the effectiveness of N. californicus on TSSM in the presence of the maize pollen was superior to the other pollens. However, although the other pollen types had no obvious positive effect on the performance of N. californicus, they might increase long-term persistence of the predator-prey system.
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