Brevipalpus chilensis (Chilean false red mite)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Distribution Maps
Don't need the entire report?
Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.Generate report
PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Brevipalpus chilensis Baker, 1949
Preferred Common Name
- Chilean false red mite
International Common Names
- English: Chilean grape flat mite; grape flat mite
- Spanish: falsa arañita de la vid
Local Common Names
- Chile: falsa arañita
- BRVPCH (Brevipalpus chilensis)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Chelicerata
- Class: Arachnida
- Subclass: Acari
- Superorder: Acariformes
- Suborder: Prostigmata
- Family: Tenuipalpidae
- Genus: Brevipalpus
- Species: Brevipalpus chilensis
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page The grape flat mite B. chilensis, was described in 1949 from intercepted lemons imported from Chile. Additional material assisting in its description were female specimens housed in the US National Museum, Washington DC, USA, dated the beginning of the 1900s. At that time it was noted that the new species was very similar to the holarctic 'privet mite', Brevipalpus obovatus, described from France and currently worldwide in distribution (see 'Similarities to other species').
DescriptionTop of page
Brevipalpus is a large, widespread genus, including over 65 species of very small flat mites. They are divided into six groups according to the number of lateral setae in the posterior half of the body (hysterosoma), the number of sensory setae on tarsus II of the female and the number of terminal setae on the palpus (Baker and Tuttle, 1987).
The Chilean grape flat mite is included in the obovatus group, having six pairs of lateral hysterosomal setae (Baker and Tuttle, 1987) and one sensory cylindrical seta (solenidion) on tarsus II.
Body oval, 320-340 µm, body setae very short, dorsal setae 14 to 16 µm. Six pairs of short dorsolateral setae, of which five pairs are strictly hysterosomal and the sixth pair is humeral (Jeppson et al., 1975). The distal segment of the palpus has three setae and tarsus II has a single distal solenidion rod.
The main distinguishing character is the propodosoma, which is evenly reticulate. The latter character separates B. chilensis from Brevipalpus obovatus; this feature can be better seen under a phase contrast microscope.
The male is very similar to the female with respect to the above morphological features.
From laboratory pure cultures, it is confirmed that the main characters used in separation are the shapes of the first and second propodosomal setae and the final three hysterosomal pairs, which are oblong in shape, whereas all other dorsal setae are much shorter and setiform.
The dorsocentral setae are short and setiform; all others are oblong of denticulated margin.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 10 Jan 2020
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page This species was first identified as new on a shipment of lemons from Chile, intercepted in the USA (Baker, 1949). Shortly after, the false mite was found to occur throughout the major wine grape areas in central Chile. With the export fruit boom, the planting of grapes (Vitis vinifera), citrus (Citrus spp.) and later of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa), extended the dispersion of this mite to the north, where it cohabits with Brevipalpus obovatus and Brevipalpus californicus.
The host plant list in this datasheet is incomplete; however, the current distribution of B. chilensis on fruits and ornamental plants subject to trading is fairly well known. Introduced forest trees in the genera Catalpa proved to be efficient host plants for the species.
Its dispersion into new areas could be possible via cuttings and rooted host plants such as grapes, kiwifruits, privets, citrus and persimmon (Diospyros kaki). The quarantine concern through fruit exports is limited by the cold storage treatments to which citrus fruits and grapes are subjected, provided that storage at 3-4°C extends beyond 3 to 4 weeks (R Gonzalez, Universidad de Chile, Santiago Chile, personal communication, 2004).
HabitatTop of page B. chilensis is spread through most of temperate Chile where its host plants are grown. It does not occur in the northernmost dry desert areas or in the rainy southern part beyond 37.5°S latitude. It has not yet been found in unmanaged environments, grasslands or forest. In the mesomorphic regions (parallels 31 to 32°C) it occurs in fig trees (Ficus carica) and leafy weeds. It should be noted that the most common hosts in Chile are introduced, e.g. privet (Ligustrum sp.), grape (Vitis vinifera), citrus (Citrus spp.) and other fruit trees. A number of the hosts listed in this datasheet are hosts to both this species and the related privet mite, Brevipalpus obovatus.
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
This species is commonly found throughout central Chile on a variety of cultivated hosts such as grapes (Vitis vinifera), lemons (Citrus limon), kiwifruits (Actinidia deliciosa), persimmons (Diospyros kaki), and various flowers and ornamentals. In terms of abundance, Ligustrum spp. (privet) is by far the most important host plant; another character that links B. chilensis with Brevipalpus obovatus (see 'Similarities to other species').
The oldest known mounted specimens kept at the University of Chile Agricultural Museum, Chile, were collected on wine grapes (V. vinifera) in Central Chile in 1909. All specimens were labeled 'Tetranychid mites'. In terms of economic damage and because of its quarantine connotation, table grapes, Citrus spp., chirimoya (Annona cherimola), banyan (Ficus indica [Ficus benghalensis]), kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) and a few others are extremely important because several markets, namely USA and Mexico, require a zero tolerance fumigation. However, in terms of physiological damage to the host, the wine grape is still the most recurrent.
Small, limited mite populations can be found on carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus), Euonymus, snapdragon (Antirrhinum spp.), chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.), Vinca sp., Ampelopsis sp., and assorted broad-leaf plants, including pome fruits. Under laboratory or greenhouse conditions, potted beans and privet (Ligustrum) may yield high mite populations.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Actinidia deliciosa (kiwifruit)||Actinidiaceae||Main|
|Annona cherimola (cherimoya)||Annonaceae||Main|
|Citrus aurantium (sour orange)||Rutaceae||Other|
|Citrus limon (lemon)||Rutaceae||Other|
|Citrus sinensis (navel orange)||Rutaceae||Other|
|Convolvulus arvensis (bindweed)||Convolvulaceae||Wild host|
|Diospyros kaki (persimmon)||Ebenaceae||Other|
|Ficus benghalensis (banyan)||Moraceae||Main|
|Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet)||Oleaceae||Main|
|Vitis vinifera (grapevine)||Vitaceae||Main|
Growth StagesTop of page Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop of page The symptomatology and economic damage differ according to the host life cycle and cultivars within a species. The mites are active throughout the year on citrus, but inactive in winter on grapes (Vitis vinifera), kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) and other deciduous crops. Among grapes the most seriously damaged are the red wine varieties, whereas the white cultivars are unable to harbour high mite populations on the foliage and bunches. Table grape cultivars, with the exception of a couple of old red varieties, are practically not attacked by the mite and bunches can be harvested without mobile stages on the berries. However, they are subject to post-harvest mandatory fumigation treatments to importing markets such as Mexico and the USA. The most commonly infested plant in central Chile is the privet Ligustrum sp., an ornamental plant used as a hedge in home gardens. All stages of B. chilensis develop on the underside of the leaves, particularly along the midrib vein of mature leaves. A yellow discoloration occurs on the infested tissues accompanied by a reduction in size of the newer foliage. No twisting or distortion occurs.
Red wine cultivars suffer the most due to false mite feeding through the spring and summer. A reduction in size and losses of the new growth are observed from October onwards due to feeding by the adult females moving from their wintering sites in the trunk. The forthcoming invasion of the leaves in early summer may produce leaf rolling and discoloration of the leaves; grape bunches are also damaged by feeding.
The species of citrus affected by the mite, including lemons (Citrus limon), oranges (Citrus spp.), clementines (Citrus reticulata) and, more frequently, mandarins, with peak populations occurring during the warmest month, are not economically damaged whatsoever. Mite populations are very low on the leaves and fruits. However, they are subject to pre- and/or post-harvest treatments due to quarantine regulations.
Kiwifruits, notwithstanding their late arrival in Chile, were immediately subject to mite colonization, thus posing another quarantine problem to some importing countries, namely the USA. The mites overwinter as adult females, and shortly after bud growth in the very early spring, the females start crawling to shoots and leaf petioles. These organs may be scarred by feeding and call for a very early acaricide treatment because female movement to the growing foliage may be slow; usually two spray applications are needed.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / external feeding|
|Fruit / lesions: black or brown|
|Fruit / lesions: scab or pitting|
|Growing point / discoloration|
|Growing point / distortion|
|Growing point / external feeding|
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / abnormal forms|
|Leaves / external feeding|
|Leaves / leaves rolled or folded|
|Whole plant / discoloration|
|Whole plant / distortion; rosetting|
|Whole plant / external feeding|
Biology and EcologyTop of page In grapes (Vitis vinifera), the mites overwinter at the fertilized stage hidden under bark crevices. In late winter, as soon as the new shoots start swelling, the females move to the bases of opening buds and the underside of the new foliage. Often the real injury occurs at this phenological stage of the crop, represented by the cracking of bark and wilting of new leaves. The oviposition period of the first generation may extend for 3 weeks and the total length of this generation, which occurs in mid-spring, may take up to 2 months. Four to five generations are known annually on wine grapes.
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page The Stigmaeidae and Phytoseiidae are two mite families that have been found to be important with respect to natural control of B. chilensis. The stigmaeid, Agistemus longisetus, and the phytoseiid Neoseiulus californicus are important natural enemies. The latter species is recognized as a major mite predator, particularly against tetranychid mites. However, it is doubtful whether it will reduce and control Brevipalpus spp. populations.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page Due to their small size, B. chilensis can be easily transported in any live or dead plant material. Under field conditions, it is surprising to discover how soon the mites move to newly established kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) orchards (a fairly recently introduced crop from New Zealand into Chile) from adjacent infested vineyards.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Fruits (inc. pods)||adults; eggs; nymphs||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Leaves||adults; eggs; nymphs||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||adults; eggs; nymphs||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
|Solid wood packing material with bark|
|Solid wood packing material without bark|
ImpactTop of page
Among fruit trees, the vines are the most economically affected crops, particularly red grape wine cultivars, which must be treated with chemical acaricides to deplete populations. Due to its small size it is common for mobile forms and eggs to be overlooked on the lower part of the foliage; overwintering populations that move to the young shoots and leaflets as soon as they begin to emerge produce the main economic damage. On table grapes, with few exceptions (e.g. the black cultivar Ribier), economic damage has never been observed. USA quarantine fumigation measures have been extended to citrus and kiwifruits (Actinidia deliciosa), whereas cherimoyas (Annona cherimola) and other citrus fruits must be treated with wax (Gonzalez, 1958, 1989).
Detection and InspectionTop of page
Under field conditions, all Brevipalpus mites look very similar in colour, shape and size. They can be easily found in preferred host plants with the aid of a x15 magnification hand lens. Overwintering adult females should be searched for on the underside of leaves, the pedicel disk area of citrus (Citrus spp.) and kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa), grape (Vitis vinifera) bunches near the pedicel, and under the bark or petiole cavities in deciduous plants.
A diagnostic Lucid key to 19 species of Brevipalpus is available in Flat Mites of the World.
For quarantine inspection purposes, the grape bunches can be washed with detergents within a funnel system to convey the water down and inspect specimens in a collecting pan.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page B. chilensis is very similar to the cosmopolitan privet mite, Brevipalpus obovatus. These two species coexist in the northern part of Chile on a variety of hosts. From a quarantine point of view, their common occurrence on export crops such as citrus and table grapes frequently poses problems because their morphological separation may prove to be difficult under regular quarantine inspections. Both polyphagous species show a preference for the privet plant Ligustrum sinense.
B. chilensis and Brevipalpus obovatus share the following combination of characters: six pairs of dorsolateral hysterosomal setae and a single terminal rod-like seta on tarsus II. Major differences among the two species are shown in the dorsal chaetotaxy of protonymphs and in the reticulation patterns of the adult females. The latter character is only visible with phase contrast microscopy: the reticulation meets at the median dorsal line in B. chilensis, whereas in B. obovatus the pattern is medially wanting.
ReferencesTop of page
Baker EW, 1949. The genus Brevipalpus (Acarina:Pseudoleptidae). Am. Midl. Nat., 42(2):350-402.
Baker EW; Tutle DM, 1987. The false spider mites of Mexico (Tenuipalpidae: Acari). United States Department of Agriculture, Technical Bulletin No. 1076.
Gonzalez RH, 1958. Biología y control de la falsa arañita de la vid, Brevipalpus chilensis Baker. Boletim Tecnico No. 1. Chile: Universidad de Chile.
González RH, 2006. Biology, quarantine risks and control alternatives of the grape flat mite, Brevipalpus chilensis Baker (Acarina: Tenuipalpidae). (Biologia, riesgos cuarentenarios y alternativas de control de la falsa arañita de la vid, Brevipalpus chilensis Baker (Acarina: Tenuipalpidae).) Revista Frutícola, 27(3):77-88.
Vargas M R; Olivares P N; Cardemil O A, 2005. Postembryonic development and life table parameters of Typhlodromus pyri Scheuten, Cydnodromus californicus (McGregor) (Acarina: Phytoseiidae) and Brevipalpus chilensis Baker (Acarina: Tenuipalpidae). (Desarrollo postembrionario y parámetros de tabla de vida de Typhlodromus pyri Scheuten, Cydnodromus californicus (McGregor) (Acarina: Phytoseiidae) y Brevipalpus chilensis Baker (Acarina: Tenuipalpidae).) Agricultura Técnica, 65(2):147-156.
GONZÁLEZ EODEÍGUEZ R H, 1958. Bionomics and control of the vine mite. B. chilensis (on vines in Chile). (Biología y control de la falsa arañita de la vid Brevipalpus chilensis Baker (Acariña, Phytoptipalpidae).). In: Bol. tec. Estac. exp. aqron. Univ. Chile. Maipú. 31 pp.
Distribution MapsTop of page
Unsupported Web Browser:
One or more of the features that are needed to show you the maps functionality are not available in the web browser that you are using.
Please consider upgrading your browser to the latest version or installing a new browser.
More information about modern web browsers can be found at http://browsehappy.com/