Brevipalpus californicus, B. obovatus, B. phoenicis, and B. lewisi (Acari: Tenuipalpidae): a review of their biology, feeding injury and economic importance.
The genus Brevipalpus includes most of the economically important species of Tenuipalpidae. Many Brevipalpus species reproduce by theletokous parthenogenesis while other species reproduce by male fertilization of female eggs. Previous researchers have determined that Brevipalpus californicus (Banks), B. obovatus Donnadieu, and B. phoenicis (Geijskes) females were haploid with two chromosomes. The life cycle and developmental times for these three species are reviewed. Longevity of each Brevipalpus species is two to three times greater than corresponding longevities of various tetranychid mites. Brevipalpus mites inject toxic saliva into fruits, leaves, stems, twigs, and bud tissues of numerous plants including citrus. Feeding injury symptoms on selected plants include: chlorosis, blistering, bronzing, or necrotic areas on leaves by one or more Brevipalpus mites. Premature leaf drop occurred on 'Robinson' tangerine leaves in Florida (USA). Leaf drop was observed in several sweet orange and grapefruit orchards in Texas (USA) that were heavily infested with Brevipalpus mites feeding on the twigs, leaves, and fruit. Initial circular chlorotic areas appear on both sweet orange and grapefruit varieties in association with developing populations of Brevipalpus mites in Texas. These feeding sites become progressively necrotic, darker in color, and eventually develop into irregular scab-like lesions on affected fruit. Russeting and cracking of the fruits of other plant hosts are reported. Stunting of leaves and the development of Brevipalpus galls on terminal buds were recorded on sour orange, Citrus aurantium L., seedlings heavily infested with B. californicus in an insectary. The most significant threat posed by these mites is as vectors of a potentially invasive viral disease called citrus leprosis.