ORIGIN: California and Florida
HOST PEST: Spider mites, Broad mite, Cyclamen mite.
HOST PLANT: Strawberries, Corn, Grapes, Roses, Vegetables, Ornamentals
LIFE STAGES: Egg, Larvae, Protonymph, Deutonymph, and Adult
SEX RATIO: Females predominant 2 to 1.
DEVELOPMENT: Completes a generation in one to two weeks depending on temperature.
ENVIRONMENT: Does best in warm humid conditions, but will also tolerate low humidity (40% - 80%rh at 50° - 105°F). Occurs naturally along coast and inland valleys of California, Florida, Chile and around the Mediterranian Sea.
STORAGE: Highly perishable, should be released immediately upon delivery. If storage is absolutely necessary, refrigerate at 55ºF. (12ºC). Not to exceed 5 days, to minimize mortality.
BIOLOGY: The following data are based on a temperature of 25ºC (77ºF).
Egg: The egg is oval and much larger than spider mite eggs. Hatch in 2 days.
Larval: Non feeding stage, 1/2 day.
Protonymph: First feeding stage, 1 1/2 days.
Deutonumph: Second feeding stage, 1 day.
Egg to adult: five days.
Preoviposition period: 1 1/2 days.
Average temperatures higher than 77ºF. will speed up reproduction. Temperatures lower than 77ºF will slow down reproduction. Reproduction stops at about 55ºF. Reproduction continues up to 95ºF and survival has been noted at 110 degrees F. At 77ºF the females consumed 5.3 spider mite eggs per day.
At 77ºF the females laid 3.1 eggs/day and laid 43 eggs during lifetime.
During the ovipositional period the females consumed 16.3 eggs per day for about 13.4 days. The intrinsic rate of increase (rm) is 0.29. This means that at this temperature the predator population can increase at the rate of 29%/day under favorable conditions. There is some evidence that californicus can survive on pollen but not reproduce.
Most of this data is from a publication by; Wei-Lan Ma and J.E. Laing, Biology -- of Amblyseius (Neoseiulus)californicus, Entomophaga, 1973, 47-60.