Gaeolaelaps aculeifer is predatory mite (0.5 – 1 mm.). It feeds on various organisms such as eggs, larvae en pupae of sciarid and thrips. Adult are brown colored and very active. Gaeolaelaps looks like Stratiolaelaps scimitus (former name Hypoaspis miles), but has a more robust construction. The females are larger than males.
Life cycle and relative effectiveness
Adults (females) lay their eggs, 3 – 4 per day, in the ground. The feed on young larvae of sciarid, thrips and may consume between one and five preys per day. The Gaeolaelaps lives both in and on the top layer of the soil. Mainly the Gaeolaelaps will not enter the plant itself. De development from egg to adult takes 10 – 13 days at an temperature of 27ºC.
Application and dose
Gaeolaelaps aculeifer is most active in moist soil with a loose structure. The predatory mite can survive mild winters, but is inactive at a soil temperature below 10ºC. The material should not be scattered on the plant (or parts of the plant). Dose is between 50 and 500 predatory mites per square meter, depending on preventive or curative application.
Storage and handling
Gaeolaelaps aculeifer supplied in bottles (1000 ml.), containing 10.000 predatory mites (all stages). Keep the bottles horizontally, in darkness, at a temperature between 10°C – 15°C. Maximum storage two to three days.