Eriophyes similis Nalepa Plum pouchgall mite

These two gall mites are associated with plum. They also occur on various other kinds of Primus, especially P. spinosa. Although the galls of each species are distinct (see below), both have sometimes been described both as pouch-shaped, and this has led to misidentification and confusion. Galls inhabited by Eriophyes padi are lantern- or finger-shaped (4-5 mm long), and occur on the upper surface of leaves, especially towards the centre of the lamina. Galls inhabited by E. similis are pouch-like (4-5mm long), and occur in greatest profusion around or towards the periphery of infested leaves. In plum orchards, E. similis (which appears to be the more abundant species in the British Isles) tends to be of greater significance, as the mites can also cause direct damage to the fruits. Affected plums enlarge more or less normally but their surface becomes distinctly uneven and develops irregular, sunken patches; fruits of certain cultivars, notably Purple Pershore and Yellow Egg, are especially liable to be attacked.

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