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Datasheet

Tetranychus urticae
(two-spotted spider mite)

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Datasheet

Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 22 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Tetranychus urticae
  • Preferred Common Name
  • two-spotted spider mite
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Chelicerata
  •         Class: Arachnida
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • T. urticae is a highly polyphagous, cosmopolitan species, which is readily spread on the wind. Under optimum conditions, it reaches a high population density, and its presence can cause a reduction in crop yield.

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); colour enhannced SEM of an adult mite.
TitleAdult
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); colour enhannced SEM of an adult mite.
CopyrightPublic Domain - Released by the United States Dept of Agrculture/Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)/original image by the Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); colour enhannced SEM of an adult mite.
AdultTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); colour enhannced SEM of an adult mite.Public Domain - Released by the United States Dept of Agrculture/Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS)/original image by the Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult male (smaller individual) and adult female.
TitleAdults
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult male (smaller individual) and adult female.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult male (smaller individual) and adult female.
AdultsTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult male (smaller individual) and adult female.©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult male.
TitleAdult male
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult male.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult male.
Adult maleTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult male.©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult female with eggs.
TitleAdult female
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult female with eggs.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult female with eggs.
Adult femaleTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult female with eggs.©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult female with eggs and a larva.
TitleAdult female
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult female with eggs and a larva.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult female with eggs and a larva.
Adult femaleTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); adult female with eggs and a larva.©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); overwintering (diapausing) females around an apple calyx.
TitleDiapausing females
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); overwintering (diapausing) females around an apple calyx.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); overwintering (diapausing) females around an apple calyx.
Diapausing femalesTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); overwintering (diapausing) females around an apple calyx.©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); speckling on a strawberry leaf.
TitleDamage symptoms
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); speckling on a strawberry leaf.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); speckling on a strawberry leaf.
Damage symptomsTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); speckling on a strawberry leaf.©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); speckling on hop leaves.
TitleDamage symptoms
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); speckling on hop leaves.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); speckling on hop leaves.
Damage symptomsTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); speckling on hop leaves.©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); webbing on strawberry leaves.
TitleWebbing
CaptionTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); webbing on strawberry leaves.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); webbing on strawberry leaves.
WebbingTetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite); webbing on strawberry leaves.©Horticulture Research International
Phytoseiulus persimilis predatory mites (orange-red individuals), in a colony of T. urticae.
TitleNatural enemy
CaptionPhytoseiulus persimilis predatory mites (orange-red individuals), in a colony of T. urticae.
Copyright©Horticulture Research International
Phytoseiulus persimilis predatory mites (orange-red individuals), in a colony of T. urticae.
Natural enemyPhytoseiulus persimilis predatory mites (orange-red individuals), in a colony of T. urticae.©Horticulture Research International

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Tetranychus urticae Koch

Preferred Common Name

  • two-spotted spider mite

Other Scientific Names

  • Eotetranychus scabrisetus
  • Epitetranychus althaeae
  • Epitetranychus bimaculatus
  • Epitetranychus telarius
  • Paratetranychus althaeae von Hanstein
  • Tetranychus althaeae von Hanstein
  • Tetranychus bimaculatus Harvey
  • Tetranychus fragariae
  • Tetranychus manihotis
  • Tetranychus russeolus
  • Tetranychus scabrisetus
  • Tetranychus telarius *

International Common Names

  • English: glasshouse red spider mite; greenhouse red spider mite; hop red spider mite; two spotted mite; two spotted spider mite; twospotted spider mite
  • Spanish: ácaro común; arañita de las legumbres; aranuela de la patata
  • French: araignée rouge du cotonnier; l'acarien jaune commun; tétranyque à deux points; tétranyque à deux points; tétranyque commun
  • Portuguese: ácaro rajado (Brasil)

Local Common Names

  • Brazil: ácaro rajado
  • Denmark: lindespindemide; plettet væksthusspindemide; væksthusspindemide
  • Finland: lehmuspunkki; vihannespunkki
  • Germany: Spinne, Rote-; Spinnmilbe, Blatt-; Spinnmilbe, Bohnen-; Spinnmilbe, Eibisch-; Spinnmilbe, Gemeine
  • Israel: haakarit haadumu hamezuya
  • Italy: Ragnetto giallo dei giardini; Ragnetto giallo della vite e dei tiglio; Ragno rosso della vite; Ragno rosso tessitore
  • Japan: Nami-hadani
  • Netherlands: aardbeispintmijt; bonenspintmijt; cassave-mijt; kina-mijt; rode plantenspin
  • Norway: flekket veksthusspinnmide; lindespinnmidd
  • Sweden: lindspinnkvalster; växthysspinnkvalster
  • Turkey: iki benekli orumcek

EPPO code

  • TETRUR (Tetranychus urticae)

Summary of Invasiveness

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T. urticae is a highly polyphagous, cosmopolitan species, which is readily spread on the wind. Under optimum conditions, it reaches a high population density, and its presence can cause a reduction in crop yield.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Chelicerata
  •                 Class: Arachnida
  •                     Subclass: Acari
  •                         Superorder: Acariformes
  •                             Suborder: Prostigmata
  •                                 Family: Tetranychidae
  •                                     Genus: Tetranychus
  •                                         Species: Tetranychus urticae

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Tetranychus urticae is part of a group of very similar species in the genus Tetranychus. At one time, a species complex included about 60 synonyms, each described from different hosts or from different parts of the world, the best known of which were Tetranychus telarius L., Tetranychus bimaculatus Harvey and Tetranychus altheae von Hanstein. The taxonomy of the genus Tetranychus is still problematical, but may be elucidated using molecular techniques.

The list of other names used excludes Tetranychus cinnabarinus, which may be the same species (see Similarities to Other Pests and datasheet for Tetranychus cinnabarinus). Additional synonyms are provided in Bolland et al. (1998). T. urticae is also known as the red spider mite.

Description

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Eggs

The egg is 0.13 mm in diameter, globular and translucent.

Larva

The larva is pale green and has six legs.

Nymphal stages

There are two nymphal instars, protonymph and deutonymph, with a quiescent interval between them and another between the deutonymph and adult. The nymphs are pale green with darker markings and have eight legs.

Adults

The adult female is 0.6 mm long, pale green or greenish-yellow with two darker patches on the body, which is oval with quite long hairs on the dorsal side. Overwintering females are orange-red in colour. The male has a smaller, narrower, more pointed body than the female.

Distribution

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T. urticae occurs in most parts of the world. It has been recorded from most countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia, the Pacific and Caribbean islands, North, Central and South America.

Other reference sources are given in Bolland et al. (1998).

Distribution Table

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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: 25 Feb 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

BeninPresent
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresent
EgyptPresent
EswatiniPresent
KenyaPresent
LibyaPresent
MadagascarPresent
MalawiPresent
MauritaniaPresent
MoroccoPresent
MozambiquePresent
RéunionPresent
Saint HelenaPresent
SenegalPresent
Sierra LeonePresent
South AfricaPresent
SudanPresent
TanzaniaPresent
TunisiaPresent
UgandaPresent
ZambiaPresent
ZimbabwePresent

Asia

AfghanistanPresent
ArmeniaPresent
AzerbaijanPresent
BangladeshPresent
ChinaPresent
-AnhuiPresent
-GansuPresent
-GuangdongPresent
-GuangxiPresent
-HebeiPresent
-HenanPresent
-HubeiPresent
-HunanPresent
-JiangsuPresent
-LiaoningPresent
-NingxiaPresent
-ShaanxiPresent
-ShandongPresent
-ShanghaiPresent
-ShanxiPresent
-SichuanPresent
-XinjiangPresent
-YunnanPresent
GeorgiaPresent
IndiaPresent
-Andhra PradeshPresent
-BiharPresent
-ChhattisgarhPresent
-GujaratPresent
-HaryanaPresent
-Himachal PradeshPresent
-Jammu and KashmirPresent
-JharkhandPresent
-KarnatakaPresent
-KeralaPresent
-Madhya PradeshPresent
-MaharashtraPresent
-PunjabPresentOriginal citation: Jyotika Kapur-Ghai & Bhullar, 2003
-SikkimPresent
-Tamil NaduPresent
-Uttar PradeshPresent
-West BengalPresent
IndonesiaPresent
IranPresent
IraqPresent
IsraelPresent
JapanPresent
JordanPresent
KazakhstanPresent
KyrgyzstanPresent
LebanonPresent
MalaysiaPresent
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresent
PakistanPresent
PhilippinesPresent
Saudi ArabiaPresent
SingaporePresent
South KoreaPresent
Sri LankaPresent
TaiwanPresent
TajikistanPresent
ThailandPresent
TurkeyPresent
TurkmenistanPresent
UzbekistanPresent
VietnamPresent
YemenPresent

Europe

AlbaniaPresent
AustriaPresent
BelarusPresent
BelgiumPresent
Bosnia and HerzegovinaPresent
BulgariaPresent
CroatiaPresent
CyprusPresent
CzechiaPresent
DenmarkPresent
EstoniaPresent
Federal Republic of YugoslaviaPresent
Union of Soviet Socialist RepublicsPresent
FinlandPresent
FrancePresent
GermanyPresent
GreecePresent
-CretePresent
HungaryPresent
IrelandPresent
ItalyPresent
-SardiniaPresent
-SicilyPresent
LatviaPresent
LithuaniaPresent
MaltaPresent
MoldovaPresent
MontenegroPresent
NetherlandsPresent
NorwayPresent
PolandPresent
RomaniaPresent
RussiaPresent
-Eastern SiberiaPresent
-Russian Far EastPresent
SerbiaPresent
SlovakiaPresent
SloveniaPresent
SpainPresent
-Canary IslandsPresent
SwedenPresent
SwitzerlandPresent
UkrainePresent
United KingdomPresent

North America

CanadaPresent
-British ColumbiaPresent
-New BrunswickPresent
-Nova ScotiaPresent
-OntarioPresent
-QuebecPresent
Costa RicaPresent
CubaPresent
GuadeloupePresent
MexicoPresent
United StatesPresent
-ArizonaPresent
-ArkansasPresent
-CaliforniaPresent
-FloridaPresent
-GeorgiaPresent
-HawaiiPresent
-IdahoPresent
-IndianaPresent
-IowaPresent
-KansasPresent
-KentuckyPresent
-LouisianaPresent
-MarylandPresent
-MassachusettsPresent
-MichiganPresent
-MinnesotaPresent
-MississippiPresent
-MissouriPresent
-NebraskaPresent
-New JerseyPresent
-New YorkPresent
-North CarolinaPresent
-OhioPresent
-OklahomaPresent
-OregonPresent
-PennsylvaniaPresent
-TennesseePresent
-TexasPresent
-UtahPresent
-VirginiaPresent
-WashingtonPresent
-West VirginiaPresent
-WisconsinPresent

Oceania

AustraliaPresent
-New South WalesPresent
-Northern TerritoryPresent
-QueenslandPresent
-South AustraliaPresent
-TasmaniaPresent
-VictoriaPresent
-Western AustraliaPresent
New CaledoniaPresent
New ZealandPresent
Papua New GuineaPresent
Solomon IslandsPresent

South America

ArgentinaPresent
BrazilPresent
-BahiaPresent
-CearaPresent
-Espirito SantoPresent
-Mato Grosso do SulPresent
-Minas GeraisPresent
-ParanaPresent
-PernambucoPresent
-Rio Grande do NortePresent
-Rio Grande do SulPresent
-Santa CatarinaPresent
-Sao PauloPresent
ChilePresent
ColombiaPresent
GuyanaPresent
SurinamePresent
VenezuelaPresent

Hosts/Species Affected

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T. urticae has a very wide host range. It includes many crops grown in glasshouses such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and flowers such as chrysanthemums and orchids. It is also a problem on protected and unprotected strawberries. In some areas it is a problem on field-grown fruit crops such as apples, pears and on grapevines. Other important crops that are infested include cotton, soyabeans and other legumes. This mite can also live on many non-crop hosts, which can provide a source of infestation. A more exhaustive list of hosts is given by Bolland et al. (1998).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Abelmoschus esculentus (okra)MalvaceaeMain
    Achillea millefolium (yarrow)AsteraceaeOther
      Actinidia chinensis (Chinese gooseberry)ActinidiaceaeUnknown
        Ageratum conyzoides (billy goat weed)AsteraceaeUnknown
          Ageratum houstonianum (Blue billygoatweed)AsteraceaeUnknown
            Allium cepa (onion)LiliaceaeOther
              Allium sativum (garlic)LiliaceaeUnknown
                Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)FabaceaeUnknown
                  Arracacia xanthorrhiza (arracacha)ApiaceaeUnknown
                    Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)LiliaceaeUnknown
                      Averrhoa carambola (carambola)OxalidaceaeUnknown
                        Beta vulgaris (beetroot)ChenopodiaceaeOther
                          Callistephus chinensis (China aster)AsteraceaeUnknown
                            Camellia sinensis (tea)TheaceaeUnknown
                              Capsicum (peppers)SolanaceaeUnknown
                                Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeUnknown
                                  Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeUnknown
                                    Catharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle)ApocynaceaeOther
                                      Chromolaena odorata (Siam weed)AsteraceaeUnknown
                                        Chrysanthemum (daisy)AsteraceaeUnknown
                                          Chrysanthemum indicum (chrysanthemum)AsteraceaeOther
                                            Citrullus lanatus (watermelon)CucurbitaceaeOther
                                              CitrusRutaceaeOther
                                                Citrus limon (lemon)RutaceaeUnknown
                                                  Citrus sinensis (navel orange)RutaceaeUnknown
                                                    Convolvulus arvensis (bindweed)ConvolvulaceaeUnknown
                                                      CorylusBetulaceaeUnknown
                                                        Cucumis melo (melon)CucurbitaceaeOther
                                                          Cucumis sativus (cucumber)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
                                                            Cucurbita moschata (pumpkin)CucurbitaceaeOther
                                                              Cucurbita pepo (marrow)CucurbitaceaeOther
                                                                Cucurbitaceae (cucurbits)CucurbitaceaeOther
                                                                  CymbidiumOrchidaceaeUnknown
                                                                    Dahlia pinnata (garden dahlia)AsteraceaeUnknown
                                                                      Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation)CaryophyllaceaeMain
                                                                        Diospyros (malabar ebony)EbenaceaeUnknown
                                                                          Elettaria cardamomum (cardamom)ZingiberaceaeOther
                                                                            Enterolobium cyclocarpum (ear pod tree)FabaceaeOther
                                                                              Euonymus alatus (winged spindle)CelastraceaeUnknown
                                                                                Euphorbia pulcherrima (poinsettia)EuphorbiaceaeMain
                                                                                  Fabaceae (leguminous plants)FabaceaeMain
                                                                                    Ficus carica (common fig)MoraceaeMain
                                                                                      Fragaria (strawberry)RosaceaeUnknown
                                                                                        Fragaria ananassa (strawberry)RosaceaeMain
                                                                                          FreesiaIridaceaeUnknown
                                                                                            fruitsUnknown
                                                                                              Gerbera (Barbeton daisy)AsteraceaeUnknown
                                                                                                Gerbera jamesonii (African daisy)AsteraceaeUnknown
                                                                                                  Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeMain
                                                                                                    Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain
                                                                                                      Gypsophila (baby's breath)CaryophyllaceaeMain
                                                                                                        Hedera helix (ivy)AraliaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                          Humulus lupulus (hop)CannabaceaeMain
                                                                                                            Ilex crenata (Japanese holly)AquifoliaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                              Impatiens (balsam)BalsaminaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)ConvolvulaceaeOther
                                                                                                                  Lactuca sativa (lettuce)AsteraceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                    Malus domestica (apple)RosaceaeMain
                                                                                                                      Manihot esculenta (cassava)EuphorbiaceaeMain
                                                                                                                        Medicago sativa (lucerne)FabaceaeMain
                                                                                                                          Mentha (mints)LamiaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                            Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                              Orchidaceae (orchids)OrchidaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                Oryza sativa (rice)PoaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                  Papaver orientale (Oriental poppy)PapaveraceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                    Pelargonium (pelargoniums)GeraniaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                      Phaseolus (beans)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                        Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                          Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                            Prunus avium (sweet cherry)RosaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                              Prunus cerasus (sour cherry)RosaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                Prunus domestica (plum)RosaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                  Prunus dulcis (almond)RosaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                    Prunus persica (peach)RosaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                      Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)RosaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                        Pueraria montana var. lobata (kudzu)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                          Pyrus communis (European pear)RosaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                            Rhododendron (Azalea)EricaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                              Ribes nigrum (blackcurrant)GrossulariaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                Ribes rubrum (red currant)GrossulariaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                  Ricinus communis (castor bean)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                    Rosa (roses)RosaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                      Rosa chinensis (China rose)RosaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                        Rubus idaeus (raspberry)RosaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                          Rubus loganobaccus (loganberry)RosaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                            Salvia splendens (scarlet sage)LamiaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                              Sechium edule (chayote)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                Sesamum indicum (sesame)PedaliaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                  Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                    Solanum melongena (aubergine)SolanaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                      Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)PoaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                        Stachys arvensis (staggerweed)LamiaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                          Terminalia catappa (Singapore almond)CombretaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                            Tilia cordata (small-leaf lime)TiliaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                              Trifolium repens (white clover)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                Trifolium vesiculosum (Arrowleaf clover)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Vicia faba (faba bean)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Vicia sativa (common vetch)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vigna angularis (adzuki bean)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Vigna radiata (mung bean)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Vigna unguiculata (cowpea)FabaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Viola odorata (English violet)ViolaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeMain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Withania somnifera (poisonous gooseberry)SolanaceaeOther
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Zantedeschia aethiopica (calla lily)AraceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Zea mays (maize)PoaceaeUnknown
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Zea mays subsp. mays (sweetcorn)PoaceaeMain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Growth Stages

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Post-harvest

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Symptoms

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Feeding by T. urticae causes pale spots to appear on leaves. As infestations become more severe, leaves appear bronzed or silvery, become brittle, and may fall prematurely. Plants can be killed quite rapidly by this mite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The mites spin webbing, which can cover all the surfaces of the plant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        List of Symptoms/Signs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        SignLife StagesType
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leaves / abnormal colours
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leaves / abnormal leaf fall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leaves / webbing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Biology and Ecology

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Genetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Important economic species of Tetranychidae tend to have a chromosome number of n = 3 (Hussey and Huffaker, 1976). See Overmeer and Harrison (1969) and Mitchell (1972) for reports on genetic variation with respect to factors controlling the sex ratio of T. urticae. Refer to Hussey and Huffaker (1976), and references therein, for further information on the genetics of spider mites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Physiology and phenology

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        T. urticae has an overwintering or diapause form of the adult female that is initiated by short photoperiod, decreased temperature and unfavourable food supply. The overwintering females stop feeding and egg laying and leave their host plants to hibernate in cracks and crevices in protected places, such as the soil or glasshouse structures. They resume activity in the spring when they lay eggs on leaves. These mites also produce copious amounts of webbing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Reproductive biology

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The development of the mite is rapid, particularly at high temperatures. At 30-32°C, which is the optimum temperature for development, the egg stage lasts 3-5 days, the larval/nymphal stages 4-5 days, and with a pre-oviposition period of 1-2 days, the total life cycle takes only 8-12 days. Each female can lay an average of 90-110 eggs during a lifetime of about 30 days, therefore numbers of mites can increase very rapidly during the summer, or under glass or plastic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is much additional information available on cytology and sex determination, mating behaviour, sex ratio, genetics, etc. Much of this information is reviewed in the chapters by various authors in the volumes on spider mites edited by Helle and Sabelis (1995a, b).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Natural enemies

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Top of page
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Acaropsellina sollers Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aegyptocheyla summersi Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Aeolothrips intermedius Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy maize; soyabeans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agistemus cyprius Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agistemus exsertus Predator Adults/Nymphs Egypt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Allothrombium pulvinus Parasite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblydromella denmarki Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblydromella rhenanoides Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Acer campestre
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseiella setosa Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius addoensis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius agrestis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius andersoni Predator Adults/Nymphs Belgium; Ukraine
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius barkeri Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy soyabeans; Urtica dioica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius bibens Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius bicaudus Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy maize; soyabeans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius degenerans Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius eharai Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius herbarius Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy soyabeans; Urtica dioica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius herbicolus Predator Adults/Nymphs Japan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius idaeus Predator Adults/Nymphs Sao Paulo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius largoensis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius limonicus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius mckenziei Predator Adults/Nymphs USSR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius neolentiginosus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius nicholsi Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius obtusus Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Urtica dioica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius olivi Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius paraki Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius potentillae Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Lonicera; maize
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius potentillae Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius pseudolongispinosus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius rademacheri Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy soyabeans; Urtica dioica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius reductus Predator Adults/Nymphs Ukraine; USSR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius sessor Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius swirskii Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius victoriensis Predator Adults/Nymphs Australia; New South Wales peachs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Amblyseius vignus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anthoseius caudiglans Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Anystis baccarum Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki Pathogen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis Pathogen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Balaustium putmani Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Beauveria bassiana Pathogen Jeyarani et al. (2011)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Campylomma diversicornis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Campylomma verbasci Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cardiastethus nazarenus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cheiracanthium mildei Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cheletogenes ornatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chernes cimicoides Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chrysopa orestes Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chrysoperla carnea Predator Adults/Nymphs Canada; Ontario; Italy maize; peaches; soyabeans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conidiobolus obscurus Pathogen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conidiobolus thromboides Pathogen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Coniopteryx esbenpeterseni Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conwentzia psociformis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cunliffella panamensis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Deraeocoris fasciolus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Deraeocoris punctulatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dictyna consulta Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Erynia radicans Pathogen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Eupeodes corollae Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Euseius concordis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Euseius fustis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Euseius gossipi Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Euseius gossipi Predator Adults/Nymphs Egypt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Euseius mesembrinus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Euseius scutalis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Euseius stipulatus Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy soyabeans; Urtica dioica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Feltiella acarivora Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Feltiella macgregori Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frankliniella occidentalis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Frankliniella schultzei Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Galendromus annectens Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Galendromus helveolus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Geocoris pallens Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Geocoris punctipes Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Haplothrips victoriensis Predator Adults/Nymphs Australia; South Australia Medicago sativa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hemicheyletia bakeri Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hirsutella thompsonii Pathogen Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Holobus minutus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Holoparasitus caesus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Holoparasitus pseudoperforatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hyaliodes vitripennis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hypoaspis aculeifer Parasite
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kampimodromus aberrans Predator Adults/Nymphs Switzerland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lasioseius scapulatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Macrolophus caliginosus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Macrolophus nubilus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Metaseiulus occidentalis Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Micromus angulatus Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy maize; soyabeans
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Micromus tasmaniae Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mycosphaerella tassiana Pathogen Jeyarani et al. (2011)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nabis kinbergii Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nabis palifer Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulella aceri Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Acer campestre
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulella tiliarum Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus alpinus Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus anonymus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus californicus Predator Eggs/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus chilenensis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus cucumeris Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus fallacis Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus longispinosus Predator Adults/Nymphs Japan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus setulus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus teke Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neozygites adjarica Pathogen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neozygites floridana Pathogen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neozygites na Pathogen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oligota flavicornis Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Acer campestre; Carpinus betulus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oligota kashmirica Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oligota kashmirica benefica Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oligota oviformis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oligota pygmaea Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oligota yasumatsui Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orius albidipennis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orius insidiosus Predator Adults/Nymphs USA; Virginia apples
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orius majusculus Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Acer campestre; Carpinus betulus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orius minutus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orius niger Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orius sauteri Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orius tristicolor Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Orius vicinus Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Acer campestre; Carpinus betulus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phalangium opilio Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phoenicocoris minusculus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseiulus fallacis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseiulus longipes Predator Adults/Nymphs Egypt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseiulus macropilis Predator Adults/Nymphs Florida; Sao Paulo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseiulus persimilis Predator Adults/Nymphs Australia; Australia; Queensland; Australia; South Australia; Australia; Tasmania; Australia; Victoria; Belgium; British Columbia; Bulgaria; California; China; Beijing; China; Shanghai; Czechoslovakia; Denmark; Finland; Florida; France; Germany; India; Irish Republic; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Moldova; Netherlands; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Norway; Ohio; Poland; Romania; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan; Tunisia; UK; USA; Texas; USSR; Washington; Egypt Ageratum conyzoides; Dahlia pinnata; hops; maize; Medicago sativa; Pelargonium lateripes; raspberries; Rosa chinensis; roses; Salvia splendens; strawberries; tomatoes; Zantedeschia aethiopica
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseius domesticus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseius finitimus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseius fotheringhamiae Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseius hawaiiensis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Phytoseius plumifer Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Propriorseiopsis messor Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Proprioseiopsis jugortus Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Proprioseiopsis rotundus Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scolothrips acariphagus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scolothrips longicornis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scolothrips sexmaculatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scolothrips takahashii Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scymnus gracilis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scymnus interruptus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scymnus rubromaculatus Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Acer campestre; Carpinus betulus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Scymnus rufipes Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Acer campestre; Carpinus betulus
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seiulus finlandicus Predator Adults/Nymphs Italy Carpinus betulus; Ligustrum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus bifidus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus fenestralis Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus histrio Predator Adults/Nymphs Chile Phaseolus vulgaris; Ricinus communis
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus loi Predator Adults/Nymphs Taiwan Averrhoa carambola
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus nigripes Predator Adults/Nymphs Australia; South Australia Medicago sativa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus parapauperculus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus punctillum Predator Adults/Nymphs France; Italy Acer campestre; Carpinus betulus; maize
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus punctum Predator Adults/Nymphs Pennsylvania
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus punctum picipes Predator Adults/Nymphs Canada; British Columbia strawberries
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stethorus siphonulus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tapinoma melanocephalum Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Therodiplosis persicae Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thrips imaginis Predator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromalus macrosetosus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus athiasae Predator Adults/Nymphs Israel apples
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus baccettii Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus exhilaratus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus italicus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus longipilus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus negevi Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus phialatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus porresi Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Typhlodromus pyri Predator Adults/Nymphs Australia; Switzerland; Tasmania; UK; Czech Republic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Zetzellia graeciana Predator Adults/Nymphs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Zetzellia mali Predator Adults/Nymphs

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Notes on Natural Enemies

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At each separate locality there is a complex of local predators, hence lists of natural enemies are long and of limited value in other locations. The most effective natural enemies of T. urticae are predatory mites from the family Phytoseiidae. These mites, belonging to a number of genera, such as Amblyseius, Euseius, Neoseiulus and Phytoseius, have been shown to regulate populations of T. urticae on a range of crops. Phytoseiulus persimilis successfully controls the mite in greenhouses. It is also sometimes useful outdoors and has been released into the field; usually augmentative releases are required to maintain control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Species of Stethorus, a group of small ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae), are also important predators of spider mites. Other useful predators include anthocorids (mainly Orius spp.), larvae of chrysopids, thrips (e.g. Scolothrips spp.), staphylinids (e.g. Oligota spp.), and larvae of cecidomyiid midges, in particular Feltiella acarisuga (=Therodiplosis persicae).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Epidemics of fungal disease sometimes occur, particularly in warm, humid conditions. These epidemics are usually caused by Neozygites spp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Means of Movement and Dispersal

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        T. urticae disperses by active walking or by passive transport in the wind and on plants, tools and people (Zhang, 2003). Phoretic dispersal of T. urticae mediated by winged insects is thought to be rare in the wild (Yano, 2004).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pathway Vectors

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Clothing, footwear and possessions Yes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plant Trade

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx adults; eggs; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fruits (inc. pods) adults; eggs; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Growing medium accompanying plants adults; eggs; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Leaves adults; eggs; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Seedlings/Micropropagated plants adults; eggs; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches adults; eggs; nymphs Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Roots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        True seeds (inc. grain)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Impact Summary

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CategoryImpact
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Animal/plant collections Negative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Animal/plant products Negative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Biodiversity (generally) None
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Crop production Negative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Environment (generally) Negative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fisheries / aquaculture None
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Forestry production None
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Human health Negative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Livestock production None
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Native fauna None
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Native flora Negative
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rare/protected species None
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tourism None
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trade/international relations None
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Transport/travel None

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Impact

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Top of page

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        During feeding the mites penetrate the plant foliage/leaves with their mouth stylets and suck out the cell contents. On strawberry, low populations of T. urticae mainly damage the spongy mesophyll tissue but higher densities increase the area of damage and injury to the palisade parenchyma occurs (Sances et al., 1979; Kielkiewicz and Van de Vrie, 1983). The function of the stomatal apparatus is also affected, so that the stomata remain closed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The result of this damage to leaf tissue is reduced chlorophyll content and reduced photosynthesis, carbon dioxide assimilation and transpiration. Such effects have been shown for cotton (Bondana et al., 1995), tomato (Nihoul et al., 1992), apple and peach (Mobley and Marini, 1990), and strawberry (Sances et al., 1982).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Crop yields are diminished as essential plant processes are affected. This has been demonstrated on maize (Archer and Bynum, 1993), strawberry (Oatman et al., 1982), pear (McNab and Jerie, 1993), cotton (Wilson, 1993), soyabean (Singh, 1988; Suekane et al., 2012) and grapevine (Hluchy and Pospisil, 1992), among others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The mites feed directly on tomato fruit, causing gold fleck (discolouration of the fruit), which could have a negative impact on the marketability of the fruit (Meck et al., 2012).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nyoike and Liburd (2013) studied the impact of the mites on the marketable yield of field grown strawberries in Florida and reported that yield reduction in strawberry was detected when plants had 80 mites per leaf in the 2008/2009 growing season, and 50 mites per leaf in the 2009/2010 growing season. Results like this can be used to determine the timing of control programmes, ensuring maximum yields are attained.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The timing of mite infestation has also been shown to have an impact. For example, Gore et al. (2013) reported that early infestations of T. urticae on cotton in mid-southern USA caused the highest impact on yield (compared with later infestations).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Detection and Inspection

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Severely infested plants can be recognized by speckling and bronzing of the leaves and the presence of webbing. However, it is important to detect infestations before they reach this stage by examining the leaves, with a hand lens or under a microscope, to reveal the mites. Some sampling schemes have been developed that use the presence or absence of mites on a sample of leaves, to reduce the time spent counting (Raworth, 1986; Butcher et al., 1987).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Several species of Tetranychus look similar to T. urticae, and have similar biology. Some of the morphological differences between Tetranychus species were described by Boudreaux and Dosse (1963). However, it is difficult to separate some of these species and, more recently, new biochemical and molecular techniques have been used to try and distinguish between them. Enohara and Amano (1996) studied six species of Tetranychus common in Japan, which are difficult to separate: T. urticae, T. kanzawai, T. phaselus, T. ludeni, T. viennensis and T. piercis. They found that esterase patterns showed species specific characteristics and that the morphological characters of the adult females could also be used to distinguish between species. Goka and Takafuji (1997) used polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to study the differences between two enzymes among seven species of Tetranychus and concluded that these enzymes could be useful markers for classification. Navajas et al. (1997) used nucleotide sequence variation and morphological characters to study the evolutionary relationships among nine tetranychid mite species.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The relationship/conspecificity with Tetranychus cinnabarinus is still problematical: molecular techniques seem to show them as conspecifics, for example, Gotoh and Tokioka (1996). More recently, Zhang and Jacobson (2000) reported on the use of adult female morphological characters to differentiate between T. urticae and T. cinnabarinus. They stated that T. cinnabarinus could be readily separated from T. urticae by variation in the number of setae on tibia I in females.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Prevention and Control

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Biological Control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        T. urticae has been the subject of some of the most successful examples of biological control. The predator used most often has been the phytoseiid mite Phytoseiulus persimilis. This species was first used in glasshouses, on various crops, in the 1960s (for example, Hussey et al., 1965), and since then has been used successfully on a wide variety of crops in a range of protected and unprotected environments. Several biological control companies package this predator for distribution on to plants by growers. Suitable release rates and timings vary with the crop. In areas where the mite has been established, augmentative releases are required to maintain control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        However, P. persimilis is active only under a limited range of conditions (Gorski and Eajfer, 2003), and so other species of phytoseiid mite have also been used against T. urticae. For example, Amblyseius idaeus and Phytoseiulus macropilis have been used on strawberry and cucumber in Brazil (Watanabe et al., 1994). Metwally et al. (2005) investigated life table and prey consumption of the predatory mite Neoseiulus cynodactylon, and concluded that T. urticae was a profitable prey species of this phytoseiid as a facultative predator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Predators from other insect families have also shown promise as biocontrol agents against T. urticae. For example, the chrysopid Mallada basalis has been used on strawberry in Taiwan (Tzeng and Kao, 1996). Yanagita et al. (2014) reported that the predatory thrip Scolothrips takahashii could be used as an effective control agent against T. urticae in integrated pest management programmes for strawberry plug plants. Other potential predatory biocontrol agents include Orius minutus (Fathi, 2013), Coccinellla septempunctata (Sirvi and Singh, 2014), Stethorus gilvifrons (Ahmad et al., 2010) and Stethorus punctillum (Gorski and Eajfer, 2003).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Neoseiulus californicus has shown promise as an agent in conservation biological control of T. urticae; the natural control of the mite in strawberries was used as the basis for developing an integrated management plan, using acaricide only when necessary (Greco et al., 2011).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shivaprakash et al. (2004) reported on the natural occurrence of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana on T. urticae in an okra plot grown without the use of chemicals in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Laboratory tests using entomopathogens against T. urticae have also been carried out (e.g. Simova and Draganova, 2003; Chandler et al., 2005).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Host-Plant Resistance

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Research to find sources of resistance to T. urticae has been carried out on a variety of crops, including Impatiens (Al-Abbasi and Weigle, 1982), soyabean (Mohammad and Rodriguez, 1985), Pelargonium (Chang et al., 1972), cucumber (de Ponti, 1980), Vigna angularis (Aguilar et al., 1996), strawberry (Shanks and Moore, 1995; Easterbrook and Simpson, 1998; Olbricht et al., 2014), watermelon (Lopez et al., 2005; El-Saiedy et al., 2011), maize (Mead et al., 2010), tomato (e.g. Saeidi and Mallik, 2012) and citrus (Agut et al., 2014). Several studies have found differences in susceptibility to the mite between different cultivars or selections. However, the resistance may be polygenic in most cases (Easterbrook and Simpson, 1998), and so is difficult to exploit by plant breeders. Even partial resistance is potentially useful in IPM programmes, however, as it slows the rate of population increase of the spider mite, and so makes it easier for predators to gain control.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mechanisms of host-plant resistance to T. urticae have been attributed to flavonoid pathways in citrus (Agut et al., 2014), leaf trichomes on Fragaria (Olbricht et al., 2014) (shown to entrap mites on tomato [Saeidi and Mallik, 2012]), increased peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase activity in melon (Shoorooei et al., 2013), antibiosis and antixenosis in bean (Kamelmanesh et al., 2010), phytochemical compounds in watermelon, where El-Saiedy et al. (2011) reported a negative relationship between mite infestation and tannins, and nitrogen and protein content in maize leaves (Mead et al., 2010).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chemical Control

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        T. urticae is very difficult to control with acaricides because most populations developed resistance to chemical groups after a few years of use (Cranham and Helle, 1985). In some cases, cross-resistance to other chemical groups has also developed. For example, resistance to the ovicide clofentezine developed quite rapidly, and cross-resistance to hexythiazox also occurred (Thwaite, 1991). Al-Jboory et al. (2004) reported that a bromopropylate-resistant strain (R) of T. urticae showed strong positive cross-resistance towards dicofol and a mixture of dicofol and tetradifon, moderate positive cross-resistance towards amitraz, and low negative cross-resistance towards chlorpyrifos. No cross-resistance was observed towards abamectin and dinobuton.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Later, control often relied on acaricides from a group that act as inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration in the mite (METIs), such as pyridaben, fenpyroximate, fenazaquin and tebufenpyrad. However, resistance was detected in a relatively short space of time, leading to decreased susceptibility to all the compounds in this group (Bylemans and Meurrens, 1997). This illustrates the importance of anti-resistance strategies, involving restricted acaricide use and rotation of acaricides from different chemical groups, such as that proposed for fruit crops by the Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC) (Wege and Leonard, 1994).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Increased resistance to acaricides has led to research into alternative sources for control, such as fatty acid derivatives (Silva-Flores et al., 2005), sugar esters (Puterka et al., 2003), plant extracts, including essential oils (e.g. Kawka and Tomczyk, 2002; Mateeva et al., 2003; Aslan et al., 2004, 2005; Hou et al., 2004; Kawka, 2004), such as Elettaria cardamomum (Fatemikia et al., 2014), and botanical insecticides derived from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) (Pavela, 2003). Of various plant extracts tested for acaricidal activity against T. urticae in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Mateeva et al. (2003) reported that thornapple (Datura stramonium), wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and basil (Ocimum basilicum) were toxic to the active stages of this pest. It was stated that extracts of these species could be used to control T. urticae on rose in urban areas. Saber (2004) reported that ethanol extracts of sand wormwood (Artemisia monosperma) were least effective against females of T. urticae compared to petroleum ether, chloroform or ethyl acetate. The acaricidal activity of Australian Lamiaceae extracts has also been tested against T. urticae with varying results (Rasikari et al., 2005). Extracts from the subfamilies Ajugoideae, Scutellarioideae, Chloanthoideae, Viticoideae and Nepetoideae showed acaricidal activity, and 14 species of Plectranthus showed moderate to high contact toxicity against T. urticae. Methanol extracts of Cinnamomum species (family Lauraceae) are potential acaricides (Reddy et al., 2014).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Commercially available Bionatrol (specified emulsion nano-particle soyabean oil) was shown to reduce populations of T. urticae, aphids (Aphis gossypii) and whiteflies (Trialeurodes vaporariorum) on greenhouse-grown English cucumber (Cucumis subsp. kasa) by 88-95% (Lee et al., 2005).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Integrated Pest Management

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Management of T. urticae forms an integral part of IPM programmes for many crops. It is important that pesticides used for other pests and diseases are chosen so that they cause minimal disruption to naturally occurring predators or biocontrol agents such as Phytoseiulus persimilis. Also, control agents applied against the same pest must also be chosen carefully so that they do not disrupt each other. Thus, even though P. persimilis and B. bassiana have been shown to be effective in controlling T. urticae, when applied together, an increase in handling time by P. persimilis was reported, leading to a decrease in the rate of feeding by the predatory mite (Seiedy et al., 2012).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It may sometimes be necessary to use a selective acaricide to reduce spider mite numbers and maintain a suitable pest/predator ratio. For example, a selective acaricide may be needed to reduce a large overwintered population of T. urticae in the spring, before a release of P. persimilis later in the year (Easterbrook, 1992).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        IPM programmes should minimize the use of acaricides, to delay the onset of resistance and prolong their effective life, but even programmes that do not heavily rely on pesticide use need to be cautious when employing different control strategies. For example, hot-water treatment on strawberry discs has been shown to control T. urticae (Gotoh et al., 2013); however, it was suggested by the authors that the natural enemy, Neoseiulus californicus would have to be replaced following treatment due to its sensitivity to hot water.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Supplements, such as fertilizers, used in the growing environment must also work synergistically in an IPM programme and several authors have investigated the effect of fertilizer application on pests, such as T. urticae. For example, Zhang and Xiang (2007) reported an increase in the number of T. urticae (and Aphis gossypii) with an increase in organic fertilizer application; however, cucumber yield also increased. In contrast, other studies have shown that application of nitrogen or phosphorous fertilizers had no effect on numbers or activity of T. urticae (e.g. Shabalta et al., 1992, on soyabeans).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Other

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In 2006, Donohue et al. reported on atmospheric pressure plasma discharge as (APPD) a non-chemical method of control for insect pests including T. urticae. APPD is used to sterilize medical equipment and was shown to kill T. urticae. However, further reports of its application to control the mite in the scientific literature could not be found after publication of Donahue et al.’s paper in 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.

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