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Penthaleus major (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: CSIRO - Wikimedia Commons

Penthaleidae - (earth mites)

This family of leaf-feeding mites contains several important agricultural pests like the red-legged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor or the blue oat mite, Penthaleus major. The damaged leaves appear whitish or silvery. Outbreaks have been mainly reported from Australia, but the mites are also found in other regions. They are often active near the ground and can cause serious damage to seedlings.

There are typically 3-4 generations per year. Thick-walled, durable eggs can be produced as a resting stage and can survive in the soil for several months during dry periods. Typically, the body is coloured dark and the long legs yellow or reddish.

The following genera and individual species are currently entered in the system: