Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 October 2012
Predation by the mite Lasioseius penicilliger was studied on three nematode species, i.e. infective larval stages (L3) of Haemonchus contortus and adults of Panagrellus redivivus and Rhabditis sp. Experiments were carried out in 5.5-cm diameter Petri dishes containing 2% water-agar over a period of 5 days. Batches of up to 1500 third-stage larvae (L3) of H. contortus and 1000 adult nematodes of P. redivivus and Rhabditis sp. were exposed to five mites in separate Petri dishes. Upon contact, each mite used its pedipalp and legs to identify and hold its prey and then used its chelicerae to feed upon the prey. Predation by L. penicilliger was chance dependent but mites became aggregated around any injured/damaged prey, thereby suggesting some form of chemoperception. The rate of predation on the three species of nematodes was high but L3 of H. contortus and adult Rhabditis sp. were preferred.