Anystis baccarum (predator)
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Anystis baccarum (predator) (Linnaeus, 1758) - (European whirligig mite)
This is an important predatory mite of fruit trees in Europe and other regions. It readily feeds on pest arthropods like spider mites (e.g. Panonychus ulmi), thrips and leafhoppers.
The mite has no males and reproduces by parthenogenesis. Eggs are laid on the bark or at the base of the trees and young mites colonize the vegetation. During their development, the mites pass through a six-legged larval stage and three nymphal instars which are eight-legged. Total development from egg to adult lasts around 1 month and there are typically 3 generations per year. The adults of the last generation overwinter in cracks of the bark.
The body of the adult is about 1 mm long. It rapidly moves over the branches and leaves. It is important for growers to recognize and preserve this beneficial mite and not to mistake it for a pest which should be sprayed with pesticides.
For a review see Cuthbertson et al., 2014.