European red mite

Panonychus ulmi

It is a species of mite which is a major agricultural pest of fruit trees. It has a high reproductive rate, a short generation time (21 days at 20 °C or 68 °F) and produces many broods in a year, all of which contribute to its pest status.

Eggs: Overwintering eggs are found on twigs and small limbs, especially in the crevices, beginning in the late summer or fall, throughout the winter, and up until they hatch in spring. They are about 1/160 inch (0.15 mm) in diameter, are brick red and have a stipe, or stalk. Summer eggs are laid on the foliage and, if populations are high, on the fruit, especially the calyx end. These are slightly smaller and about the same color as the overwintering eggs. After the egg hatches, the empty shell is transparent.

Immatures: There are three immature forms (the larva, protonymph and deutonymph). The larva is only slightly larger than the egg and is an orange-red. It can be distinguished from other immature stages by having only three pairs of legs. The protonymph and deutonymph are successively larger and have four pairs of legs, as do adults. Immature stages of European red mite are reddish in color but sometimes have a greenish cast. Between each stage is a quiescent stage which precedes a molt. The integument can appear silvery during this stage as it separates from the layer beneath.

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