Mites Found on Flowers and Foliage Plants

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Key to Mites

Specific mite information:


Introduction to Mites

Although mites differ from insects in several ways, their damage to ornamental plants resembles that of thrips and lace bugs. Most mites have eight legs as adults (adult insects usually have six). Mites do not have wings (some adult insects have wings) but can be aerially dispersed by breezes and winds more or less like aerial plankton, particularly in hot, dry weather. It is thought the mouthparts (chelae) of mites evolved from legs with a prehensile joint, (the digitus mobilus) which allows the mite to chew with a vertical, scissors like action. In spider mites, broad mites, and cyclamen mites, the chelae have evolved into sharp mouthparts that mites use to pierce the surface of the plants they feed on in order to suck out the contents of the plant cells. Mites evidently inject saliva as they feed for one of the first symptoms of broad mite and cyclamen mite feeding is failure of the host plant to blossom. Infested plants then exhibit a variety of plant growth regulator symptoms including twisted and distorted growth, and shortened internodes and petioles.