Tetranychus (genus)

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Tetranychus sp. (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Gilles San Martin
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Tetranychus Dufour, 1832

The genus has more than 100 species and includes many important plant pests like the two-spotted spider mite or the carmine spider mite. These two and various other species are highly polyphagous and have a world-wide distribution. The feeding activities of the mites cause scarring and bronzing of the surfaces of leaves or fruits and can result in significant economic losses.

The mites disperse through the air or with infested plants. The live cycle is short and there may be 10 or more generations per year. The adult mites are around ½ mm long. The genus is characterized, among others, by the presence and position of certain hairs and the structure of the tarsi.

An illustrated key to the Australian species has been published by Seeman and Beard, 2011.

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