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.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:166
Specimens with Barcodes:156
Species With Barcodes:4
Eriophyidae is a family of more than 200 genera of mites, which live as plant parasites, commonly causing galls or other damage to the plant tissues and hence known as gall mites. About 3,600 species have been described, but this is probably less than 10% of the actual number existing in this poorly researched family. They are tiny, microscopic mites and are yellow to pinkish white to purplish in color. The mites are worm like, and have only two pairs of legs. Their primary method of population spread is by wind. They affect a wide range of plants, and several are major pest species causing substantial economic damage to crops. Some species, however, are used as biological agents to control weeds and invasive plant species.
Notable species in this family include:
- Abacarus hystrix, the cereal rust mite
- Abacarus sacchari, the sugarcane rust mite
- Acalitus essigi, the redberry mite, which blackberries
- Aceria chondrillae, the chondrilla gall mite, an agent of biological control against skeleton weed (Chondrilla juncea)
- Aceria guerreronis, a mite of coconuts
- Aceria malherbae, the bindweed gall mite, an agent of biological control against field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
- Eriophyes padi, a mite that causes cherry pouch galls on black cherry trees
- "Pentamerus" Roivainen, 1951 (non Sowerby, 1813: preoccupied)
- Digital museum of Nature: Classification of Eriophyoid Mites
- Fauna Europaea
- Joel Hallan's Biology Catalog: Eriophyidae
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