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Selection of natural enemies for biological control of Calacarus heveae Feres (Acari: Eriophyidae) and Tenuipalpus heveae Baker (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) in rubber tree

Grant number: 18/10407-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2018
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Antonio Carlos Lofego
Grantee:Felipe Santa Rosa Do Amaral
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is a plant native of Brazil and considered as the largest source of natural rubber in the world. When monoculture is the method used for its cultivation, it can suffer damages caused by pests. Two species of phytophagous mites of great concern to the rubber tree producers are Calacarus heveae and Tenuipalpus heveae, since infestations of these species can anticipate the natural fall of leaves and, consequently, decrease latex production. Besides phytophagous, rubber trees may be hosts of other mites: predatory species belonging to the family Phytoseiidae. Although the occurrence of several phytoseiid species in rubber trees is known, little is known about the biology of these mites. Thus, considering the gaps in the biological knowledge of phytoseiid species that occur in H. brasiliensis and the damage that C. heveae and T. heveae cause to rubber tree crop, the present proposal aims to find native phytoseiids that can act as agents of biological control for these pests. In addition, this work aims to develop efficient mass rearing and artificial selection methods for field release to be viable. (AU)

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