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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

phytoseiid mites

Mite eggs: European red mite (left), phytoseiid (middle), Zetzellia mali (right) (NYS Agric. Expt. Station, Geneva, NY)
Click to enlarge.

Beginner

Scientific Names 
Galendromus (=Typhlodromus) pyri (Scheuten) and Galendromus (=Typhlodromus) caudiglans

Identification

  • Typhlodromus pyri and T. caudiglans are both very similar in appearance to Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius) fallacis and all three species are not readily distinguished without careful examination of small taxonomic features. 
  • Adults are the lifestage seen most frequently when examining leaf samples for phytophagous mites under a microscope. 
  • Adults are slightly smaller then European red mite adults (0.3 mm), yellowish white, translucent, and have a teardrop shaped body.
  • Adults and larvae take on the reddish brown colour of the prey they consume.

Often Confused With
Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius) fallacis and can not be distinguished without careful examination of small taxonomic features.

Interaction With Host
T. pyri is phytoseiid mite species found in apple orchards. Adults and nymphs feed on phytophagous mites.  During the summer, several generations develop.

T. pyri  is not as voracious a feeder and is not capable of the rapid population increases seen with N. fallacis, limiting its usefulness in managing pest mite population explosions. Unlike N. fallacis, it is a generalist feeder and able to survive on alternate food sources and remains in the tree canopy when primary prey items such as European red mite, two-spotted spider mite and rust mites are scarce. The feeding biology of T. caudiglans is similar to T. pyri. It is also an effective predator in cool, humid conditions, which often occurs at the start and end of the season when the weather is cooler and prey densities are low.

Period of Activity
Bloom through harvest.

Insects Attacked
European red mite, two-spotted spider mite and rust mites

Monitoring and Management
Predatory mites are effective biological control agents of pest mites.  Make counts of all predatory mites, including T. pyri and T. caudiglans, when conducting leaf sampling for phytophagous mites. Along with stimgaeid mties, these phytoseiid mites are the most abundant predatory mites in Ontario apple orchards.  These predatory mites can be very sensitive to some insecticides.  Refer to Pub 360 Fruit Crop Protection Guide for more information on the toxicity of pesticides to beneficial insects and mites.

Advanced

Scientific name:  Galendromus (=Typhlodromus) pyri (Scheuten) and Galendromus (=Typhlodromus) caudiglans

Identification
Typhlodromus pyri and T. caudiglans are both very similar in appearance to Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius) fallacis and all three species are not readily distinguished without careful examination of small taxonomic features.  Adults are the lifestage seen most frequently when examining leaf samples for phytophagous mites under a microscope.  Adults are slightly smaller then European red mite adults (0.3 mm), yellowish white, translucent, and have a teardrop shaped body. Adults and larvae take on the reddish brown colour of the prey they consume.

Often Confused With
Neoseiulus (=Amblyseius) fallacis and can not be distinguished without careful examination of small taxonomic features.

Interaction With Host
T. pyri is phytoseiid mite species found in apple orchards. It overwinters as a mated adult female on the tree, emerging around the time the first green tissue is present.  Eggs are laid in flower buds or on the underside of leaves.  Adults live about 20 days, laying approximately 20-30 eggs. Eggs hatch and nymphs feed on phytophagous mites.  During the summer, several generations develop.

T. pyri  is not as voracious a feeder and is not capable of the rapid population increases seen with N. fallacis, limiting its usefulness in managing pest mite population explosions. Unlike N. fallacis, it is a generalist feeder and able to survive on alternate food sources (pollen, mildew, insect eggs, other mites) and remains in the tree canopy when primary prey items such as European red mite, two-spotted spider mite and rust mites are scarce. The feeding biology of T. caudiglans is similar to T. pyri. It is also an effective predator in cool, humid conditions, which often occurs at the start and end of the season when the weather is cooler and prey densities are low.

Period of Activity
Bloom through harvest.

Insects Attacked
European red mite, two-spotted spider mite and rust mites.

Monitoring and Management
Predatory mites are effective biological control agents of pest mites.  Make counts of all predatory mites, including T. pyri and T. caudiglans, when conducting leaf sampling for phytophagous mites. Along with stimgaeid mties, these phytoseiid mites are the most abundant predatory mites in Ontario apple orchards.  These predatory mites can be very sensitive to some insecticides.  Refer to Pub 360 Fruit Crop Protection Guide for more information on the toxicity of pesticides to beneficial insects and mites.