Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 30, Issue 1–3, pp 107–133 | Cite as

Morphological Observations on Brevipalpus phoenicis (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) Including Comparisons with B. californicus and B. obovatus

  • W. Calvin WelbournEmail author
  • Ronald Ochoa
  • Ethan C. Kane
  • Eric F. Erbe


The genus Brevipalpus has over 300 species worldwide. The three most important agricultural pest species in the genus, Brevipalpus californicus (Banks), B. obovatus Donnadieu, and B. phoenicis (Geijskes), have been consistently confused and misidentified for more than 50 years. The present study provides a discussion of the characters and character states used to separate these mites. Low-temperature scanning electron microscopy and traditional light microscopy techniques were used to illustrate the subtle morphological differences between these three species. Morphology of the dorsal propodosoma, opisthosoma, and leg chaetotaxy of all three species was examined and compared. The number of dorsal setae, the number of solenidia (omega) on tarsus II, and dorsal cuticular patterns were the most important characters in the identification of Brevipalpus species. B. phoenicis is similar to B. californicus in having two omega on tarsus leg II and different from B. obovatus which has only one omega on tarsus leg II and similar to B. obovatus in having only one pair of F setae (f 3), but differing from B. californicus which has two pairs of F setae (f 2–3). The dorsal opisthosomal and propodisomal cuticular patterns frequently used to distinguish between these three species are useful but one must be aware that age, feeding, and mounting techniques can affect the appearance of these characters.

false spider mites flat mites morphology low-temperature scanning electron microscopy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Calvin Welbourn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ronald Ochoa
    • 2
  • Ethan C. Kane
    • 2
  • Eric F. Erbe
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Plant IndustryFlorida Department of Agriculture and Consumer ServicesGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Systematic Entomology Laboratory, USDA-ARS-PSIBeltsvilleUSA
  3. 3.Electron Microscopy UnitSoybean Genomics & Improvement Laboratory, USDA-ARS-PSIBeltsvilleUSA

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