Bunch mite

Brevipalpus californicus

Bunch mite adults are 0.3 mm long, flat, shieldshaped and reddish-brown in colour. Eggs are oval, bright red and deposited throughout the vine. The six-legged larvae, which are lighter coloured than the adults, subsequently moult to eight-legged nymphs, which moult into adults. In spring, bunch mites feed on developing canes, and later on the under-surfaces of leaves. Early season damage is characterised by small dark spots or scars around the base of canes. They then move to the bunch stalks, berry pedicels and berries. Damage to the bunch stalks and pedicels can partly starve the berries, preventing sugar accumulation. The adults spend the winter under the outer bud scales and under the rough bark at the base of the canes.

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