Rhizoglyphus (genus)

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Rhizoglyphus echinopus (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Rhizoglyphus (genus) - (bulb mites)

This genus of mites contains around 20 species that live on bulbs, corms, tubers and roots. Sometimes they can also be found on stems and leaves of plants. Several species, like Rhizoglyphus robini and R. echinopus are important pests which infest crops like onions, potatoes, carrots or flower bulbs, both in storage as well as in the field. Some pose quarantine risks and can spread through the trade of bulbs.

Like many other mites, the development goes through the egg, larval, protonymph, deutonymph, tritonymph and adult stages. However, the deutonymph stage is often facultative and only develops under adverse environmental conditions. If deutonymphs are formed, they are only involved in the dispersal of the species. Deutonymphs are highly sclerotised, flat and do not feed. They have special adhesive structures on the ventral hysterosomal area and attach themselves to adult insects, mainly beetles.

For a review of this genus see Diaz et al., 2000.

Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: