The Mesostigmatid Mite Protogamasellus mica, an Effective Predator of Free-Living and Plant-Parasitic Nematodes


Share / Export Citation / Email / Print / Text size:

Journal of Nematology

Society of Nematologists

Subject: Life Sciences


ISSN: 0022-300X
eISSN: 2640-396X





Volume / Issue / page

Related articles

VOLUME 49 , ISSUE 3 (September 2017) > List of articles

The Mesostigmatid Mite Protogamasellus mica, an Effective Predator of Free-Living and Plant-Parasitic Nematodes


Keywords : biological control, free-living nematodes, mite, nematophagous, Pratylenchus zeae, predator, Protogamasellus mica, regulatory, root-lesion nematode, stunt nematode, suppression, Tylenchorhynchus annulatus.

Citation Information : Journal of Nematology. Volume 49, Issue 3, Pages 327-333, DOI:

License : (CC BY 4.0)

Received Date : 20-May-2017 / Published Online: 05-December-2017

Open Access article funded by Sugar Research Australia



Protogamasellus mica was extracted from a sugarcane field in Australia and cultured on bacterial-feeding nematodes. Studies with various nematodes in laboratory arenas showed that one mite and its progeny reduced nematode numbers by between 26 and 50 nematodes/day. A bacterivore (Mesorhabditis sp.), a fungivore (Aphelenchus avenae), and two plant parasites (root-knot nematode, Meloidogyne javanica and root-lesion nematode, Pratylenchus zeae) were all reduced at much the same rate despite the fact that the nematodes are quite different in size and motility and belong to different trophic groups. When sugarcane was grown in the greenhouse for 8 wk, stunt nematode (Tylenchorhynchus annulatus), a plant parasite that feeds ectoparasitically on roots, was almost eliminated from pots inoculated with the mite, and numbers of microbivores and root-lesion nematode were markedly reduced. Huge reductions in nematode populations were also observed when mites were added to microcosms containing small quantities of defaunated soil. These results show that P. mica multiplies rapidly when nematodes are available as a food source and has the capacity to play a role in regulating populations of both plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes. Future research should focus on understanding the crop and soil management practices required to enable this mite and other predatory species to thrive.

Content not available PDF Share



Chen, J., and Ferris, H. 1999. The effects of nematode grazing on nitrogen mineralization during fungal decomposition of organic matter. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 31:1265–1279.


Evans, K., Trudgill, D.L., and Webster, J.M., (eds.) 1993. Plant parasitic nematodes in temperate agriculture. Wallingford: CAB International.


Ferris, H., Venette, R. C., van der Meulen, H. R., and Lau, S. S. 1998. Nitrogen mineralization by bacterial feeding nematodes: Verification and measurement. Plant and Soil 203:159–171.


Hollis, J. P. 1958. Induced swarming of a nematode as a means of isolation. Nature 182:956–957.


Hollis, J. P. 1962. Nature of swarming in nematodes. Nature 193:798–799.


Ibrahim, I. K. A., and Hollis, J. P. 1973. Electron microscope studies of the cuticle of swarming and nonswarming Tylenchorhynchus martini. Journal of Nematology 5:275–281.


Ingham, R. E., Trofymow, J. A., Ingham, E. R., and Coleman, D. C. 1985. Interactions of bacteria, fungi, and their nematode grazers: Effects on nutrient cycling and plant growth. Ecological Monographs 55:119–140.


Karagoz, M., Gulcu, B., Cakmak, I., Kaya, H. K., and Hazir, S. 2007. Predation of entomopathogenic nematodes by Sancassania sp. (Acari: Acaridae). Experimental and Applied Acarology 43:85–95.


Lehman, R. M., Cambardella, C. A., Stott, D. E., Acosta-Martinez, V., Manter, D. K., Buyer, J. S., Maul, J. E., Smith, J. L., Collins, H. P., Halvorson, J. J., Kremer, R. J., Lundgren, J. G., Ducey, T. F., Jin, V. L., and Karlen, D. L. 2015. Understanding and enhancing soil biological health: The solution for reversing soil degradation. Sustainability 7:988–1027.


Luc, M., Sikora, R.A., and Bridge, J., (eds.) 2005. Plant parasitic nematodes in subtropical and tropical agriculture. Wallingford: CAB International.


Moody, E. H., Lownsbery, B. F., and Ahmed, J. M. 1973. Culture of the root-lesion nematode Pratylenchus vulnus on carrot disks. Journal of Nematology 5:225–226.


Moore, J. C., Walter, D. E., and Hunt, H. W. 1988. Arthropod regulation of micro- and mesobiota in belowground detrital food webs. Annual Review of Entomology 33:419–439.


Oliveira, A. R., de Moraes, G. J., and Ferraz, L. C. C. B. 2007. Consumption rate of phytonematodes by Pergalumna sp. (Acari: Oribatida: Galumnidae) under laboratory conditions determined by a new method. Experimental and Applied Acarology 41: 183–189.


Stirling, G. R. 1991. Biological control of plant-parasitic nematodes. Wallingford: CAB International.


Stirling, G. R. 2014. Biological control of plant parasitic nematodes: Soil ecosystem management in sustainable agriculture. 2nd ed. Wallingford: CAB International.


Stirling, G. R., Hayden, H. L., Pattison, A. B., and Stirling, A. M. 2016. Soil biology, soilborne diseases and sustainable agriculture: A guide. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing.


Sunderland, K. 1999. Mechanisms underlying the effects of spiders on pest populations. The Journal of Arachnology 27: 308–316.


Thomason, I. J. 1987. Challenges facing nematology: Environmental risks with nematicides and the need for new approaches. Pp. 469–476 in J. A. Veech and D. W. Dickson, eds. Vistas on nematology. Hyattsville, MD: Society of Nematologists.


Walter, D. E., and Ikonen, E. K. 1989. Species, guilds and functional groups: Taxonomy and behavior in nematophagous arthropods. Journal of Nematology 21:315–327.


Walter, D. E., and Kaplan, D. T. 1990. A guild of thelytokous mites associated with citrus roots in Florida. Environmental Entomology 19:1338–1343.


Walter, D. E., Kaplan, D. T., and Davis, E. L. 1993. Colonization of greenhouse nematode cultures by nematophagous mites and fungi. Journal of Nematology 25:789–795.


Walter, D. E., and Lindquist, E. E. 1989. Life history and behavior of mites in the genus Lasioseius (Acari: Mesostigmata: Ascidae) from grassland soils in Colorado, with taxonomic notes and description of a new species. Canadian Journal of Zoology 67: 2797–2813.


Whitehead, A. G., and Hemming, J. R. 1965. A comparison of some quantitative methods of extracting small vermiform nematodes from soil. Annals of Applied Biology 55:25–38.


Yeates, G. W., and Wardle, D. A. 1996. Nematodes as predators and prey: Relationships to biological control and soil processes. Pedobiologia 40:43–50.