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Volume 2014, Article ID 596768, 8 pages
Research Article

A Modular Cage System Design for Continuous Medium to Large Scale In Vivo Rearing of Predatory Mites (Acari: Phytoseiidae)

USDA-ARS National Biological Control Laboratory, Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, 59 Lee Road, Stoneville, MS 38776, USA

Received 26 September 2013; Accepted 20 October 2013; Published 9 January 2014

Academic Editor: Cleber Galvão

Copyright © 2014 Juan Alfredo Morales-Ramos and Maria Guadalupe Rojas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A new stackable modular system was developed for continuous in vivo production of phytoseiid mites. The system consists of cage units that are filled with lima beans,  Phaseolus lunatus, or red beans, P. vulgaris, leaves infested with high levels of the two-spotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae. The cage units connect with each other through a connection cup, which also serves for monitoring and collection. Predatory mites migrate upwards to new cage units as prey is depleted. The system was evaluated for production of Phytoseiulus persimilis. During a 6-month experimental period, (mean ± standard deviation) predators were produced per week. The production consisted of % nymphs and % adults. A mean of predatory mites were collected per harvested cage and the mean interval length between harvests was days. The potential for commercial and experimental applications is discussed.