Cyclamen mite—Phytonemus pallidus
Cyclamen and broad mites are about one-fourth the size of
spider mites and can't be seen without a microscope or a
20X magnifier. Adult cyclamen mites can be translucent white,
pinkish orange, or pale yellow. Broad mites are often translucent,
yellowish, or greenish, and female broad mites have a white
stripe down the center of their back. Broad mites have a
tapered body that is widest between their second pair of
legs and more narrow toward the rear. Cyclamen mites have
sides that are more nearly parallel, not sharply tapered.
Cyclamen and broad mites develop through four life stages: egg, nymph, pseudopupa, and adult. Cyclamen mite eggs are smooth pale ovals, about one-half the length of adults. Broad mite eggs are equally tiny, but are studded with rows of tiny pegs protruding from the egg’s upper surface. One generation is completed in about 5 to 21 days, depending on temperature. Cyclamen and broad mites do best under cool, moist conditions.
Cyclamen and broad mites infest many hosts such
as begonia, dahlia, geranium, gerbera, and verbena. Infested
leaves become cupped, curled, dwarfed, and thickened. Leaves
or flowers may become discolored, bronzed, or stiff. Infested
buds discolor, deform, or drop. Internodes may be short,
giving plants a stunted or tufted appearance.
Broad and cyclamen mites are difficult to control
with pesticides because they are protected from sprays by
their habit of feeding in buds or within distorted tissue.
Regularly inspect plants and disinfest or dispose of infested
plants. Establish new plantings from mite-free stock and
never plant new plants near infested ones. Predatory
mites and sixspotted
thrips may help limit populations.
Adult cyclamen mite
Adult broad mite
Foliage damaged by cyclamen mite