Order Prostigmata

Adults usually weakly sclerotized and most ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 mm in length, although some species are considerably larger; stigmata, when present, located between the chelicerae or dorsally on the propodosoma; chelicerae either chelate or needle-like but sometimes reduced; pedipalps usually 3- to 5-segmented, the tibia and tarsus often forming a distinct 'thumb-claw'; ocelli present or absent. This is the main group of phytophagous mites and includes many important pests, some of which are vectors of plant virus diseases; superfamilies are indicated below but not defined.

Superfamily ERIOPHYOIDEA (gall mites) 1. Family PHYTOPTIDAE (p. 255)

Minute, vermiform (worm-like) mites up to 0.2mm long; two pairs of legs, located anteriorly; propodosoma forming a shield-like structure (the prodorsal shield) which bears three or four setae (Fig. 168a); hysterosoma elongated and annulated; feather-claws (see Fig. 169a) simple. Includes gall-forming and free-living species. EXAMPLE: Phytoptus avellanae (filbert bud mite).

Fig. 168 Prodorsal shield of eriophyid mites: (a) family Phytoptidae; (b) family Eriophyidae.

Fig. 168 Prodorsal shield of eriophyid mites: (a) family Phytoptidae; (b) family Eriophyidae.

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