What habitat does spiny snout mite occupy in Tasmania


  • D.J. Wilson
  • P.J. Gerard




Spiny snout mite (Neomolgus capillatus) is a potential biocontrol agent for clover flea (Sminthurus viridis) a white clover pest on dairy farms in warmer and wetter parts of New Zealand In the 1990s this mite was introduced from Brittany France into Tasmania for clover flea control Results during the release programme were highly promising and subsequent anecdotal farmer reports indicate widespread decreases in damage As N capillatus is a predatory mite and already known to attack nontarget organisms habitat specificity will determine whether it could be introduced into New Zealand without risk to native insects To assess this pastures on nine of the original Tasmanian release farms and adjacent nontarget habitats ranging from bush wetlands eucalypt stands to sand dune country were sampled in April 2014 Litter samples were collected heat extracted and mite species identified Neomolgus capillatus was found at effective densities in pastures that had good clover cover Where present it displaced Bdellodes spp mites that are ineffective against clover flea No N capillatus were found in the nontarget habitats all of which lacked clover and contained other predatory mites including Bdellodes spp Therefore the preference by N capillatus for lush pastures makes it an excellent prospect for introduction as a biocontrol agent into clover flea prone regions of New Zealand




How to Cite

Wilson, D. and Gerard, P. 2015. What habitat does spiny snout mite occupy in Tasmania. New Zealand Plant Protection. 68, (Jan. 2015), 446–446. DOI:https://doi.org/10.30843/nzpp.2015.68.5854.



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