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Predatory mites

Predatory arachnids (Gamasida) that are among the most important beneficial insects in viticulture. The insects, which belong to the order of mites, are found on numerous plants. They are characterised by mouthparts with scissor-like graspers as well as by distinct scales on the upper and lower side of the body. The most important representative is the species Typhlodromus pyri, which is about 0.3 to 0.5 millimetres in size. It has a pear-shaped body with four pairs of legs and is milky white to brownish in colour. The females hibernate in the bark of the stem, and in spring the eggs are laid on the undersides of the leaves. The hatched sexual animals mainly feed on the mite species red spider mite and the common spider mite, which are harmful to viticulture, but they also consume the species curly mite and the pox mite as well as grapevine thr ips. After eating red spiders, they turn reddish (picture on the right).

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