Amblyseius (Typhlodromus) swirskii
Swirskiline as is a product containing the predatory mite Amblyseius (Typhlodromips) swirskii Athias - Henriot Phytoseiidae, Acari, which originates from the Nile Delta of Egypt and adjacent areas of Israel and the Middle East. This mite is mainly used for control of whitefly, but will give some reduction in other small pest species.
It is supplied as units of 500 CRS or Gemini sachets, each sachet containing a breeding colony of 250 predators at the time of packing. It is also available as Bugline swirskii or as loose material in bulk bags or cardboard tubes.
Amblyseius (Typhlodromips) swirskii is a small predatory mite which feeds on many types of small arthropod prey and pollen. It has been researched for many years as a predator of spider mites, Eriophyid mites and other pests on crops in Egypt and Israel, and was released into the United States in 1983 as part of a control programme for citrus pests. More recently, it was collected in Israel in association with whitefly, Bemisia tabaci, by researchers at the University of Amsterdam, and tested as a control agent for that pest. It was found to be able to reduce but not eradicate whitefly populations on cucumber plants to which pollen had been added. Researchers at PPO in the Netherlands have also studied this mite for control of whitefly and other pests, such as thrips.
Adult female mites lay single eggs onto leaf hairs. The mites go through three immature stages, larva, protonymph, and deutonymph, before becoming adults. At 25°C, the entire cycle from egg to adult can take less than 7 days. All mobile stages are predatory.
The mites feed by piercing small arthropod prey or grains of pollen with their mouthparts, and draining the contents.
Gemini sachets are a patented development of Syngenta Bioline. Each sachet consists of a pair of compartments containing breeding colonies of predatory mites. The key advantages of this sachet design are:
Apply the product to crops as soon as night-time temperatures reach 15°C, and daytime temperatures are higher than 20°C. It is well suited to use in crops grown in warm conditions. Earlier application, before temperatures are sufficiently high, can reduce or prevent establishment.
Establishment will be most rapid on crops with ample pollen, such as pepper crops, as the pollen provides an alternative, high quality food source for the mites. Crops without pollen will give slower establishment, but the use of sachets to give continuous releases of mites over several weeks will improve the results.
Individual Gemini sachets are packed flat into boxes in units of 500. To use the sachets, pick each sachet up with a finger and thumb at the central line. The twin compartments of the sachet should hang down from this central line, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape. Make sure that the printed face of the sachet is facing outwards, and that the un-printed face, on which the emergence holes are situated, is facing inwards. This ensures that water cannot enter the sachet.
Hang sachets into the crop at rates of 0.25 – 1/m². Gemini sachets are suitable for use over the leaf petiole, or can be hung on crop wires amongst foliage.
Hooked sachets and mini sachets are also available for use in crops such as cucumbers and aubergines where there are no horizontal crop wires available for use with Gemini sachets. Bugline swirskii is also recommended in cut flower crops where the continuous length of sachets encourages distribution of the mites within the crop. The Bugline system will also reduce the labour required to introduce the product to the crops.
Swirskiline as is not suitable for use in crops grown in cool conditions. There is minimal survival and no population growth at 15°C, and slow population growth at 18°C. Best results are obtained with temperatures between 20°C and 30°C. Swirskiline as should not be used as the sole means of control when whitefly populations are already very high, or when whitefly adults are invading the crop in large numbers. Swirskiline as is not suitable for use in tomato crops. Other controls will provide better value for control of thrips where whitefly are not present.
Used as directed, Swirskiline as will reduce populations of Bemisia tabaci and Trialeurodes vaporariorum and significantly improve crop quality in crops grown in warm conditions. If applied early enough, Swirskiline as may reduce or prevent whitefly infestation.
Amblyseius (Typhlodromips) swirskii will not provide control of whitefly in crops where night-time temperatures are below 15°C. It will not prevent damage to crops by invading populations of adult whitefly, nor will it provide immediate reductions of adults in established whitefly populations. In cooler crops, use the alternative and well tried products Encarsia formosa or Eretmocerus spp. Where thrips are the main pest present, use the proven control provided by Amblyline cu CRS sachets (Amblyseius cucumeris).
Limited information is available on compatibility with pesticides. As a general rule, neonicotinoid insecticides applied for control of whitefly have no direct effect upon Phytoseiid mites.
Note:Swirskiline as contains Amblyseius swirskii, which cannot be released without appropriate permits in some countries. Check availability with your supplier before ordering product.
Sachets should be used at one per 2 metres of crop row.
Introduce Swirskiline early in the crop/pest cycle to protect against pest build up, but only when average temperatures are above 20ºC.
Shaker Tube - 1 litre containing 25,000 mites
Shake small quantities of Swirskiline onto the crop near to flowers
Bulk bag – 5 litres containing 125,000 mites
Place one scoop-full of Swirskiline onto leaves near to flowers using the scoop provided
Release System Sachets
Amblyseius (Typhlodromips) swirskii is a predatory mite that breeds extremely quickly under warm and humid environmental conditions. It predates on whiteflies, thrips and other pests. In the absence of prey it can also survive on the plant by feeding on pollen or mould. It prefers a warm humid climate, but can survive cooler nights during the winter months in semi-protected crops by moving lower down the plants where it benefits from the warmer micro-climate closer to the ground.
This mite is available in a Gemini and hooked sachets, which allows easy and quick introductions into the crop. The mites will emerge onto the crop looking for prey.
Amblyseius swirskii is native to the coastal regions of the Middle East and North Africa on fruit trees. Swirskiline as is an ideal product to be used in crops that are grown under protection in warm conditions, such as peppers, cucumbers, Gerbera and aubergine. It can be used on other crops during the summer, provided that average daytime temperatures exceed 20°C.