Laboratory bioassays were conducted to evaluate the sublethal effects of fenpyroximate and pyridaben on life-table parameters of two predatory mites species, Neoseiulus (= Amblyseius) womersleyi and Phytoseiulus persimilis. In these assays, young adult females were treated with three sublethal concentrations of each acaricide. The life-table parameters were calculated at each acaricide concentration, and compared using bootstrap procedures. For each acaricide, the LC5 estimates for both species were similar, yet the two species exhibited completely different susceptibility when the population growth rate was used as the endpoint. Exposure to both acaricides reduced the net reproduction rate (Ro) in a concentration-dependent manner and their EC5s were equivalent to less than LC7. Two different scales of population-level endpoints were estimated to compare the total effect between the species and treatments: the first endpoint values were based on the net reproductive rate (fecundity λ) and the second endpoint values incorporated the mean egg hatchability into the net reproductive rate (vitality λ). The fecundity λ decreased in a concentration-dependent manner for both acaricide treatments, but the vitality λ decreased abruptly after treatment of N. womersleyi with pyridaben. The change in the patterns of λ revealed that the acaricide effects at the population level strongly depended on the life-history characteristics of the predatory mite species and the chemical mode of action. When the total effects of the two acaricides on N. womersleyi and P. persimilis were considered, fenpyroximate was found to be the most compatible acaricide for the augmentative release of N. womersleyi after treatment.
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