Common Predatory Mites Found to Prey on Thrips

From Clemson Entomology Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Monica Farfan

Predatory mites, such as this Proprioseiopsis mexicanus, the most commonly collected predatory mite in watermelon fields in South Carolina, are first line of defense in the case of an outbreak of pests, such as spider mites and thrips (shown here). Since these mites supplement their diets with pollen resources, growers can encourage predatory mites through having a high diversity of vegetable crops and allowing for contact between the watermelon plants and other flowering crops or ornamentals, such as Crimson clover and Sweet Alyssum, and weedy row middles.

This video was taken in a culture of Proprioseiopsis mexicanus. It is awesome because it is the first evidence we have of this species being a particularly vicious predator of thrips.