Rhizoglyphus robini

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Rhizoglyphus robini (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Qing Hai Fan, MAF
Source: PaDIL
Rhizoglyphus robini - anal suckers (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Qing Hai Fan, MAF
Source: PaDIL

Rhizoglyphus robini Claparède, 1869

The mite has a world-wide distribution and infests bulbs of onions and flowers (e.g. Lilium) in storage and in the field. Other root crops like potatoes can also be hosts. Apart from the egg and adult stage, the development of the mite includes 3 or 4 nymphal stages, larva, protonymph, deutonymph (facultative) and tritonymph.

Environmental conditions determine both the development of deutonymphs as well as the morphology of the adult males. During unfavourable conditions, deutonymphs develop with special dispersal structures, anal suckers (see image on the left) which allow them to attach themselves to adult insects like beetles and become phoretic. Further, in declining populations so-called "fighter" males develop. These have an enlarged third leg pair that they can use as weaponry to kill rivals. In contrast, benign "scrambler" males develop in expanding populations (Deere et al., 2015).

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Kartoffelmilbe
• English: common bulb mite