Overwintering and prevalence of Neozygites floridana (Zygomycetes: Neozygitaceae) in hibernating females of Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) under cold climatic conditions in strawberries


To evaluate overwintering strategies of the fungus Neozygites floridana, an important natural enemy of Tetranychus urticae, hibernating T. urticae females were investigated for the presence of fungal structures throughout one winter (October 12, 2006 to February 19, 2007) in field-grown strawberries in a cold climate in Norway (min. ambient temp −15.3°C). Neozygites floridana was present as hyphal bodies inside live, hibernating females in T. urticae populations throughout the sampling period. The lowest percentages of hibernating females with hyphal bodies were found at the two first dates of sampling at 5.5 and 0% on October 12 and 19, respectively. The prevalence then increased and peaked at 54.4% on January 14. Resting spores (immature) were also found in live hibernating females at some dates, but at lower prevalence than for hyphal bodies and predominantly only until November 8. Prevalence of resting spores in live hibernating females ranged from 2.5 to 13.8%. Total number of T. urticae was also recorded, and most mites of all four categories (nymphs, males, non-hibernating and hibernating females) were found at the first sampling date. At this date non-hibernating females were the most abundant. A sharp decrease in non-hibernating females, nymphs and males was, however, seen from mid-October to mid-November; also numbers of hibernating females decreased, but not as fast. The relative abundance of hibernating females compared to non-hibernating females increased from 32.2% at the first collection (October 12) to 97.7% at the last collection (February 2). This study confirms that N. floridana survives the winter as a semi-latent hyphal body infection, protected inside live hibernating females. It is therefore ready to develop and sporulate as soon as climatic conditions permit, resulting in early season infection of T. urticae.


Diapause Hibernating females Hyphal bodies Neozygites floridana Overwintering Resting spores Tetranychus urticae 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ingeborg Klingen
    • 1
  • Gunnar Wærsted
    • 1
    • 2
  • Karin Westrum
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Health and Plant Protection DivisionNorwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research (Bioforsk)AasNorway
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesNorwegian University of Life SciencesAasNorway

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