THE ERIOPHYOID MITE COMPLEX ON FLORIDA CITRUS (ACARI: ERIOPHYIDAE AND DIPTILOMIOPIDAE)

CHILDERS, C. C.

Abstract


Seven species of eriophyoid mites in two families (Acari: Eriophyidae and Diptilomiopidae) were identified from 64,887 slide-mounted specimens collected from 120 commercial citrus groves in Florida between 1986 and 1999. Species and their frequencies were: citrus rust mite, Phyllocoptruta oleivora (Ashmead) (76.6%); pink citrus rust mite, Aculops pelekassi (Keifer) (22.6%); citrus bud mite, Aceria sheldoni (Ewing) (0.8%), and rare vagrant species including single specimens of Acaricalus sp., Tegolophus sp., and Abacarus sp., all Eriophyidae and Rhynacus sp. in the Diptilomiopidae. Results from field surveys identified 22 citrus groves with citrus bud mite. Citrus rust mite was identified as the only rust mite species in 83 citrus grove sites compared with 37 sites having both citrus rust and pink citrus rust mite species. Of the 37 sites with both rust mite species, only three had higher frequencies of pink citrus rust mites. None of the 120 citrus groves sampled for eriophyoid mites had only pink citrus rust mites. Pink citrus rust mites develop early in the Spring and are capable of moving from leaves onto very small fruit less than 3 cm in diameter. Extensive rind blemish damage from early feeding by pink citrus rust mite was observed in many grove sites during 1999. Early monitoring for pink citrus rust mites is important for growers, especially in years following warm winter temperatures and/or dry weather in the Spring. Only citrus rust mite and pink citrus rust mite are currently recognized as economic pests on Florida citrus.

Keywords


citrus rust mite; phyllocoptruta oleivora (ashmead); pink citrus rust mite; aculops pelekassi (keifer); citrus bud mite; aceria sheldoni (ewing); frequencies; survey

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283