broad mite

Broad mite

Damage by broad mite
The broad mite, Polyphagotarsonemus latus, has a large host range world-wide and a world-wide distribution. It has four stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, nymph and adult. There are also reports of the broad mite using insect hosts, specifically some whiteflies species, to move from plant to plant (Palevsky et al. 2001).
    This destructive pest causes terminal leaves and flower buds to become malformed. The mite's toxic saliva causes twisted, hardened and distorted growth in the terminal of the plant. Mites are usually seen on the newest leaves and small fruit. Leaves turn downward and turn coppery or purplish. Internodes shorten and the lateral buds break more than normal. The blooms abort and plant growth is stunted when large populations are present. On fruit trees the damage is usually seen on the shaded side of the fruit, so it is not readily apparent. Fruit is discolored by feeding and in severe cases premature fruit drop may occur. Severely damage fruit or eggplant is not salable in the fresh market but may be used for processing.