Cenopalpus pulcher Canestrini Fanzago Flat scarlet mite

Infestations of this widespread but usually unimportant pest are sometimes noted on unsprayed fruit trees, including apple, pear and plum. Although of little or no importance, the presence of the mites on trees often causes concern.

BIOLOGY

Mated females overwinter on the bark of host trees, frequently clustered together in suitable cracks and crevices. The mites become active in the spring. The first eggs are laid in April on the bark of host trees but most are deposited from

May to mid-July, along either side of the mid-rib on the underside of the expanded leaves. Eggs take several weeks to hatch, and juvenile mites appear on the foliage from June onwards. Young adult mites of both sexes occur in August and September. After mating, the males die and the females seek out sheltered situations on the bark in which to hibernate. In Europe, there is just one generation annually.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 0.3 mm long, bright red, distinctly flattened; legs short. Egg 0.11mm long, oval, bright red.

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