Biotaxonomy of cassava green spider mites, Mononychellus spp. (Tetranychidae): “Life type” as a possible biological criterion for their identification
Oloo, G. W
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The life patterns of cassava green spider mite populations were compared using characteristics of spinning behaviour and other associated biological parameters so as to determine the possibility of using these criteria for separating closely related forms or populations of Mononychellus complex of species. These included web structure and density, preferred site for oviposition, feeding, walking, defecation, quiescence, spinning behaviour during walking and type of egg cover. Of these, preferred site for feeding, walking, quiescence and spinning behaviour during walking were found to be consistent and could possibly be used in comparative studies on different mite populations. The surface structure of the leaves i.e. pubescence, and mite population density were found to affect some of the behaviour patterns. Detailed studies on the influence of other factors, such as host plant variety, stage of plant growth, age of leaf colonized, weather, etc. will be necessary to determine the usefulness of these biological criteria in separating sympatric and allopatric populations of the mite.