Cucumeris Mite (Neoseiulus (Amblyseius) cucumeris) is a predatory mite that feeds on various thrips species including Western Flower Thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis). They also feed on broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus), Cyclamen Mite (Phytonemus pallidus) and Tomato Russet Mite (Aculops lycopersici).
Cucumeris are more efficient on leaves without many hairs and will migrate on leaves and over ground to locate prey. They are known to wait, then attack the larvae immediately after emergence from the leaf. This predatory mite will consume the 1st instar larva of the thrips and cause disruption of the 2nd instar larvae so the cannot pupate. The adult Cucumeris will feed on pollen as an alternative food source when prey is not present.
The adults are 1 mm long, tan colored, with elongated bodies and 4 pairs of legs . The larvae have 3 pairs of legs, are inactive, and do not feed. Their white eggs (0.14 mm) are often laid on hairs on leaf bottoms. Egg to adult is 9 days at 25˚C, and 6 days at 30˚C
They can enter diapause (dormancy) if daylength is shorter than 12- 14 hours of light per day. Growers must use supplemental lighting to avoid diapause and maintain high levels of reproduction under low light conditions.