The ability to endure starvation is important for predatory mite survival and its effectiveness as biological control agent. We studied the longevity and functional response of the prodator mite Neoseiulus californicus (McGregaor) under starvation stress. N. californicus individuals were treated as three groups: the mites were provided with nothing (group I), with fresh bean leaves (group II), and with water (group III) to the larvae, protonymphs, deutonymphs, adult males and females. Functional response of N. californicus to Tetranychus urticae Koch eggs was evaluated after starvation for 0 h, 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h. Results showed that all life stages of N. californicus in group III had the longest survival time among the three groups. Adult females had the strongest ability to endure starvation with a mean survival time of 8.16 d. Females had the ability to lay eggs, but the number of eggs laid was less than a mean of 1.2 eggs per female in the three starvation groups. N. californicus exhibited a Holling's Type II functional response at all hunger levels. The handling time (Th) and attack rate (α) of the predator were not significantly different in all hunger levels. Predation rate of starved 0 h to 72 h initially increased and then decreased. The highest predation rate was recorded when the predators were starved for 24 h.
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