- Author: Shimat Villanassery Joseph
- Author: Mark Bolda
Two spotted spider mite (Fig. 1A) is a major pest of strawberry and caneberries. The spider mites lay 0.14 mm eggs (in diameter) on the undersides of strawberry leaves. Once the eggs hatch and the larvae go through three stages and molt into adult males, and reproductive females. As the name suggests, they are called two spotted spider mite because of one or more dark spots on the bottom half of each side of the body. They are typically dull or yellow colored organism but during the winter months, they undergo diapause (a resting stage) and appear as reddish or orange color (Fig. 1B) which often is confused and misidentified as carmine mite or presumably a new mite never seen before. Carmine spider mite is a bright red colored mite (Fig. 1C) but do not have spots on the either side of the body. They rarely cause economic injury to strawberry. They occurring during the winter and spring months in the Salinas/Watsonville strawberry fields. Predatory mites are also greyish, pale reddish or orange colored in general but they are shiny and moves very fast on the leaves (Video).
For further reading click the Pest Management Guidelines for mites in strawberry (http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r734400111.html)