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CASTRO, Tatiane M.M.G. de and MORAES, Gilberto J. de. Mite diversity on plants of different families found in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Neotrop. entomol. [online]. 2007, vol.36, n.5, pp. 774-782. ISSN 1519-566X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1519-566X2007000500020.
This work reports the occurrence of mites predominantly predatory, phytophagous and with varied feeding habits on plants of the Atlantic Forest vegetation type of the State of São Paulo. The objective was to estimate the possible role of the Atlantic Forest vegetation as reservoir of these groups of mites which are also found on plants of agricultural importance. Samples were taken from 187 plant species belonging to 73 families in three vegetation types of the Atlantic Forest from February of 2001 to October of 2002. A total of 2,887 mites belonging to 163 morpho-species of 16 families were collected. Mite diversity was high, especially of predatory mites; these corresponded to 1,562 specimens of 92 morpho-species. Within this group, Phytoseiidae comprised 71% of the specimens and 62% of the morpho-species. Phytophagous mites comprised 836 specimens of 36 morpho-species. Within this group, Tenuipalpidae comprised the larger proportion of specimens (61%) whereas Tetranychidae corresponded to the larger proportion of morpho-species (64%). Mites with varied feeding habits corresponded to 491 specimens of 36 morpho-species. In this group, the larger proportion of specimens (52%) consisted of Ascidae and the larger proportion of morpho-species (42%) consisted of Tydeinae (family Tydeidae). High abundance and high morpho-species richness of mites of predominantly predatory, phytophagous and variable feeding habits were observed on 17, five and nine plant species, respectively. The results obtained suggest the importance of plants of the studied vegetation as reservoirs of predatory mites.
Keywords : Acari; predator; biological control.