Volume 11 Part 2 Article 19: Biology, Fungal Host Preferences and Economic Significance of Two Pygmephorid Mites (Acarina: Pygmephoridae) in Cultivated Mushrooms, N.S.W., Australia

Volume 11 Part 2 Article 19
Year 1981
Title: Biology, Fungal Host Preferences and Economic Significance of Two Pygmephorid Mites (Acarina: Pygmephoridae) in Cultivated Mushrooms, N.S.W., Australia
Authors: A.D. Clift and R.B. Toffolon

Abstract:

Pygmephorid mites frequently occur in commercial mushroom culture in N.S.W. (Conroy et al., 1966; Clift 1979). Pygmephorid mites have previously been considered to be of doubtful pest status. They are regarded as having nuisance value only and also as indicators of the presence of weed moulds (Wicht and Snetsinger, 1971).

In a three year survey (1977-1980) of insects and mites associated with commercially cultivated Agaricus bisporus and A. bitorquis in New South Wales (Clift and Toffolon, 1981), only two species of pygmephorid mites were found, Siteroptes mesembrinae (Canestrini) and Brennandania Iambi (Krczal).

The importance of mushroom flies in the dispersal of pygmephorid mites is uncertain. Wicht and Snetsinger (1971) experimentally demonstrated that Musea domestica L. could transfer S. mesembrinae between isolated fungal cultures. This type of dispersal is termed phoresy. S. mesembrinae have been found attached to adults of the sciarid Lycoriella mali (Fitch) (Wicht and Snetsinger, 1971). In New South Wales the sciarid Lycoriella agarici Loudon often occurs in the same growing rooms as the pygmephorid mites (Clift, 1979; Clift and Toffolon, 1981) and may be involved in dispersal of these mites.

Gurney and Hussey (1967) and wicht and Snetsinger (1971) reported that both S. mesembrinae and S. quadratus fed on Trichoderma sp. Gurney and Hussey (1957) also reported that S. quadratus fed on Monilia sp. and Humicola sp. Otherwise, there is very little known about the biology and host preferences of the other species of pygmephorid mites associated with commercial mushroom cultivation, including B. lambi.

This paper is concerned with the biology, preferred hosts and economic significance of S. mesembrinae and B. lambi, the two pygmephorid mites found in New South Wales.

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