Eriophyid mites, which are found around the world, are translucent white, cigar-shaped microscopic mites that are noticed when their feeding causes galls or other abnormalities of plant tissues. They are invisible to the unaided eyemeasuring just a few hundredths of centimeters in length. Unlike most mites, eriophyids only have 4 legs located near the head. Some species are host-specific, while others attack a wide range of plant species.
Eriophyids generally overwinter as fertilized adult females under bud scales or in protected sites on or near the host plant. They emerge to lay eggs and feed on new foliage when buds begin to break in the spring. Both males and females are present throughout the growing season. Reproduction is continuous, with a generation typically completed every 2 to 3 weeks; overlapping generations are present.
Some eriophyids may transmit viruses that can deform plants or cause economic losses to various crops.
- Davis, R.S. 2011. Eriophyid mites: bud, blister, gall, and rust mites. Utah Pests Fact Sheet ENT-149-11. Utah State University Extension and Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory, Logan, Utah. Available from http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/eriophyid-mites2010.pdf.
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