Agricultural. Acarology. By. Dr. B.S. Chhillar. (Professor, Entomology). Dr.
Rachna Gulati. Dr. Praduman Bhatnagar. (Scientist, Acarology). (Scientist,
Dr. B.S. Chhillar (Professor, Entomology)
Dr. Rachna Gulati
Dr. Praduman Bhatnagar
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© 2007 B.S. CHHILLAR (b. 1948– ) RACHNA GULATI (b. 1968– ) PRADUMAN BHATNAGAR (b. 1963–
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Agriculture has tremendous impact on human economies. But with the changing cropping system and emergence of mite as a serious pest, a ‘let-alone’ approach to its management will prove inadequate in meeting the demands for an abundant and high quality food supply. This concern stems in part from increasing incidence of phytophagous mites in various agricultural crops. Currently, 17 species of mites have attained the status of major pests and 30 as minor pests. Still others are on the verge of becoming pests in cash crops. Increased awareness about the role of stored/ house dust mites as allergens and soil mites as bio-indicators has generated a renewed interest in their culture and management. The rapid spread of parasitic mites in mammals, birds and insects, especially honeybees, has led to decline in host population. Acarines are of considerable economic significance and can threaten the sustainability of agro-ecosystems. There is an urgent need to create awareness about acarines and their behavior in different ecosystems so that timely management of harmful species and utilization of beneficial species can progress hand in hand. The authors have made industrious effort and collected exhaustive information on Acarology and presented it in a systemic manner. The book is divided into three sections–‘Acarine biodiversity’,
‘Acarological techniques’ and ‘Acarines as biocontrol agents’. It is my fond hope and trust that this book will fill a long void in acarological research, teaching and extension. I compliment the authors for this significant contribution in the field of Acarology. J.C. Katyal Vice-Chancellor CCS Haryana Agricultural University Hisar
The science of acarology needs distinction from entomology and arachanology. There is an urgent need to make awareness about acari, which are gaining considerable economic significance. On one hand, phytophagous mites as pests of field crops and mites associated with granaries and warehouses cause heavy financial losses, other species have attained prominence as household pests and causative agents of allergic reactions in human beings and other mammals. Many parasitic forms act as vectors of disease causing organisms. With the appreciation of the probable importance of micro arthropods in maintenance of soil fertility, amongst which mites constitute a dominant fauna, ecologists are directing their attention to this group of animals. Acari are among the major resources for biological control of various classes of pests including insects, nematodes and weeds. These widely distributed microscopic animals ranging from free living to parasitic forms and terrestrial to aquatic forms require different techniques for handling. In many instances, lack of information about the correct identity of mites and adequate knowledge regarding their biology and ecology, have hampered our ability to effectively combat these mite pests. The literature regarding their collection, rearing, biology etc. are scattered and most of the time unavailable to scientists interested to work on acarines, is a major drawback of acarology although acarological research and
post graduate teaching exist in many agricultural and traditional universities as a branch of zoology/ entomology. As a sequel to these developments, a comprehensive book on agricultural acarology is prepared which covers all aspects of acarine biodiversity, acarological techniques and their role as bio-control agent in an abridged form. The book has been liberally furnished with illustrations for better understanding. Part I is concerned with Acarine biodiversity which contains six chapters, one each on plant, stored, soil, house dust, parasitic and water mites. These chapters provide information on distribution, morphology, life cycle, nature of damage, pest status and management of mites in different habitats. We are heavily indebted to AINP on agricultural acarology publications related with phytophagous mites. Acarological techniques are the focus of Part II. Details on techniques of collection and extraction, preparation and mounting, labeling and housing the collection, culturing, counting and bioassay are given in individual chapters. There is recognition of acarines as effective bio-control agents of insects, nematodes and weeds because of their voracious nature and well developed searching, dispersal mechanism. Information related to predatory potential of acarines is included in Part III in three chapters. An extensive list of references and glossary are provided at the end of the book as part of our effort to make information on these topics more widely available. This book is primarily for students, agricultural scientists, extension specialists, crop growers and others with an interest in Acarology. Finally, in this book we hope to engender recognition for all Acari–terrestrial or water, phytophagous or post harvest associated mites, parasitic or predatory–and the potential of Acari as bio-control agents of pests. Due to scattered literature on techniques related with diverse habitat of Acari, scientists and students faced difficulty in working with mites. The purpose of this book is to provide a starting point to future acarologists and promote them as large, dependable workforces who do not have technical training in this regard. B.S. Chhillar, R. Gulati, P. Bhatnagar
Acarology–development as a science of plant protection; relationship with other arachnids; identification keys of its orders and suborders; Acarines–their types and habitats; acarological techniques, acarines as biocontrol agents.
Part I: Acarine Biodiversity 2.
Crop wise status of mite pests and losses in India, morphological characters, life history, nature of damage, commonly occurring genera, peculiar damage symptoms of prominent species of Tetranychidae, Eriophyidae, Tenuipalpidae, Tarsonemeidae, Tuckrellidae; management strategies for phytophagous mites– cultural control, sterilization, host plant resiistance, predatory mites, insects, spiders as biocontrol agents, botanical pesticides, antimetabolites, fungal pathogens, viruses, bacteria and chemical control, list of pest mites on different host crops (cereals, pulses, oilseeds, millets, fibres and forage, vegetables, horticulture, ornamental and other cash crops) bioecology of important phytophagous mites; list of predatory mites associated with mites.
Stored Product Mites
Distribution, morphological characters of Acaridae, Carpoglyphidae, Glycyphagidae, Pyroglyphagidae; commonly
x occurring genera; nature of damage; biology, mites as energy transformers, as source of allergens, polluters of human food; bioecology of important pest mites, management practices– preventive measures, fumigants, inert dust, botanicals, photoperiod, pheromones, HTST technique, biocontrol agents; list of stored grain/ product mites, predatory/ parasitic mites associated with mite pests.
Oribatid mites–morphology, biology, lifecycle, decomposition and mineralization, concept of acaricompost, bioindicators, oribatid families and genera, Mesostigmatid mites–morphology, life cycle; Prostigmatid mites–Alicorhagia fragilis, Alycus roseus, trombidiid mites–life cycle, Allothrombium sp., Trombidium sp.
Distribution, morphology, biology, mating behaviour, mites as source of allergens, allergenic properties of house dust mites, mechanism of mite, allergenic reactions, diagnostic and immune assays, important house dust mites, contamination, control measures.
Mites associated with mammals, biology, nature of damage, important mites associated with mammals, control measures; Bird mites–distribution, bioecology, infestation level in birds, Trombicula autumnalis, Ornithonyssus bursa, Hypodectes propus, Dermanyssus gallinae, Ornithonyssus sylviarum, Control measures; Honeybee Mites–Ectoparasitic mites: Varroa jacobsoni, Euvarroa sinhai, Tropilaelaps clareae, Endoparasitic mites: Acarapis woodi, Phoretic mites, scavengers, Predatory mites.
Distribution, Lifecycle, Families and Commonly occurring Genera.
Part II: Acarological Techniques 8.
Collection and Extraction of Acarines
Housedust Mites–dust sampling, heat escape method, mobility test method, collection method for mounting, mite detection in water, ultrasonic technique, mite detection through DIN-A4 paper, parasitic mites–from birds-direct examination, fumigation method, flushing technique, nasal examination, modified berlese method, from domestic animals–brushing and combing
xi method, fumigation method, skin scrapings, small wild mammals, from insects–lycopodium dusting, adult insect examination, dead insect examination, bottom board insertion in beehives, hive debris examination, hive brood examination, sampling with acaricides, floatation method, collection of bee sample for A. woodi; phytophagous mites–hand picking, sweeping, beating, aspirator, stratified sampling, sampling from large area, vacuum sampling, photographic sampling method, leaf-washing apparatus; plant predatory mites –Anystidae, Bdellidae, Phytoseiidae; soil mites–litter sample, soil sample, hand sorting, sieving, portable funnels, berlese funnel method, Macfadyen extractor, floatation technique, modified tullgren funnel, open brass funnel apparatus; storage mites–collection of infested material, collection of grains, residues and dust, modified berlese method, collection of eggs; water mites, sampling details and storage.
Preparations and Mounting
Preparation for binocular studies–temporary mounting, killing and preserving, clearing, staining, permanent mounting, ringing, labeling, recovery of specimen; preparation for electron microscopic studies–SEM studies, TEM studies, preparations for anatomical studies, preparations for histological studies of damaged material due to mite infestation–collection of material, fixation, dehydration, paraffin infiltration, embedding, sectioning, deparaffination and staining.
10. Labeling and Housing the Collection
Housing the collection, packing and shipping specimen – specimen in vials, microscopic slides.
11. Culturing Techniques
Rearing cages and observation arenas–house dust mites, parasitic mites, phytophagous mites, plant predatory mites, soil mites, stored mites; maintenance of mites on natural hosts–house dust mites, parasitic mites, phytophagous mites, plant predatory mites, soil mites, stored mites; alternate diets for mite rearing– house dust mites, plant predatory mites, stored mites; quality control in mass rearing–morphological traits, physiological traits, behavioural traits; control of contamination in mite rearing, release and shipment.
House dust mites, parasitic mites–counting dish method, PTMIS method, plant mites–direct counting, imprint method, field
xii counting, mite brushing machine, plant part washing, per square cm counting, per leaf counting, bud mite counting, eriophyid counting, counting by photographs, soil and stored mites–counting through counting dish, card disc method.
Topical application, spray method, petri dish method (Dry film technique), leaf dip method, slide dip method, single leaf disc technique, closed double leaf disc technique impregnated plastic strips bioassay, impregnated petri dish bioassay, impregnated paper bioassay, pipette technique, filter paper bioassay, oral feeding technique, dose response curve–Wragstedt-Behrens method, probit analysis.
Part III: Acarine as Biocontrol Agents 14. Acarines for Insect Control
Acaridae, Acarophenaxidae, Anystidae, Arrenuridae, Ascidae, Bdellidae, Camerobiidae, Cheyletidae, Cunaxidae, Erythraeidae, Eupalopsellidae, Hemisarcoptidae, Hydryphantidae, Laelapidae, Limnesiidae, Macrochelidae, Parasitidae, Phytoseiidae, Pionidae, Podapolipidae, Pterygosomatidae, Pyemotidae, Trombidiidae, Tydeidae.
15. Acarines for Nematode Control
Astigmata, Cryptosigmata, Mesostigmata, Prostigmata.
16. Acarines for Weed Control
Tetranychidae, Eriophyidae, Tarsonemidae, Galumnidae.
Today’s agriculture, which is an essential part of our economy is confronted with the shifts in pest pressure, rise in mite pest problems, stringent environment regulations and need for profitable high quality produce. Outbreaks of mite pests and more number of acarine species getting the status of pest is alarming as more than 40,000 acarine species are known from diverse habitats. Acari, because of its small size and cryptic appearance, are difficult to detect and hence most of the time infestations are overlooked. Once established in a new area, certain biological characteristics like high fecundity, various modes of reproduction, short life cycles, a myriad of dispersal techniques and adaptability to diverse ecological conditions allow rapid escalation to pest status. In the current scenario when world trade is showing exponential increase, these traits are putting mites on a stage of considerable economic significance where devastating situations may occur to threaten the sustainability of agro ecosystems. There is an urgent need to make awareness about acarines and their behaviour in different ecosystems so that timely management of harmful species and utilization of beneficial species can progress. These small but mighty creatures attracted the attention of man when these were recorded as vectors of some of the most devastating and lethal disease agents; the classical example being the use of
chigger mites in World War II which led to the death of thousands of soldiers.
1.1 Development as Plant Protection Science The science of Acarology, which includes mites and ticks, needs distinction from Entomology and with in Arachnology. Acari are considered among the most successful arachnids of universal distribution which can be measured on the basis of greatest diversity shown from free living to parasitic forms, univoltine to multivoltine species, may live in the germ of grains, leaf galls, crevices in bark tree or wall, soil, water to household furnishings and human beds. The variety of diverse acarine parasites of insects, birds, reptiles and mammals sometimes make one wonders about their adaptability to survive in mammalian hair follicle, eyelids, ear canals to fur and feathers of animals and birds. On one hand, phytophagous mites as pests of field crops and mites associated with granaries and warehouses cause heavy financial losses, other species have attained prominence as household pests and causative agents of allergic reactions in human beings and other mammals. Many parasitic forms act as vectors of disease causing organisms. With the appreciation of the probable importance of microarthropods in maintenance of soil fertility, amongst which mites constitute a dominant fauna, ecologists are directing their attention to this group of animals. Acari are among the major sources for biological control of various classes of pests including insects, nematodes and weeds. The growth in the knowledge of all branches of acarology viz., taxonomy, morphology, embryology, ecology etc. has been slow but steady and remarkable which led to the increase in acarological literature (Baker and Wharton 1952; Ghai, 1964; Evans, 1969; 1992; Grandjean, 1972-76; Jeppson et al., 1975; Rodriguez, 1978; Channabasavanna and Virakta math, 1988, Gupta, 1985; 1986; Sadana, 1985; Woolley, 1988; Schuster and Murphy, 1991). Acarines have come a long way from the mere mention of ‘small little waxies’ by Aristotle to causing damage upto 80 per cent in agricultural crops and causative agents of allergy in more than 75 per cent persons associated with farm produce and their storage. Concurrent with the development of Entomology and Nematology, Acarology is also steadily gaining the status of a branch of plant protection science.