Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Four-Legged Mites (Eriophyoidea or Tetrapodili)

  • Marjorie A. Hoy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_3883
The Eriophyoidea or Tetrapodili are unusual mites because they have only two pairs of legs as adults instead of the normal four pairs. Eriophyoid mites are second only to the spider mites in their economic importance as plant pests around the world. Eriophyoid mites are minute, and highly specialized to feed on plants. They are the smallest arthropods that feed on plants, averaging 100–500 µm in length and, despite their very small size which could lead to rapid water loss, some can survive in relatively exposed environments on leaves. The mouthparts of eriophyoids consist of a pair of stylet- like chelicerae and a pair of accessory stylets which are modified palps. The small size of the stylets allows eriophyids to penetrate only about 5 µm into the leaf, so feeding occurs in the plant epidermis (Fig. 84).
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjorie A. Hoy
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA