In this study, we assessed the influence of prey quality and prey biomass during a standardized 3- week test on adult survival and reproductive output of the predatory mite Hypoaspis aculeifer when fed one of six different diets: springtails (Folsomia candida and F. fimetaria), a storage mite (Caloglyphus cf. Michaeli), an oligochaete (Enchytraeus crypticus), a nematode (Turbatrix silusiae), and a 1:1:1 mix of F. candida : F. fimetaria : E. crypticus. Our results revealed that a single prey species may be nutritionally sufficient for a 3-week period, as H. aculeifer performed equally well, or better, on a diet based on a 1:1:1 mix of F. candida : F. fimetaria : E. crypticus. However, when fed C. cf. michaeli, H. aculeifer had a poor reproductive output (<200 juveniles) and a reduced survival (60-70%). Thus, investigators should validate their choice of prey prior to testing H. aculeifer performance during toxicant exposure.
Applied Soil Ecology, 2007, Vol 36, Issue 2-3, p. 130-135