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Bryobia mites

Consultant, Greg Condon (Grassroots Agronomy), has reported bryobia mites (Bryobia spp.) causing damage to several canola crops north-west of Wagga Wagga, in the South West Slopes, New South Wales. The damage within each paddock is quite patchy, and Greg says that not all paddocks warrant chemical control. Some of the crops containing a high number of mites and suffering extensive damage were sprayed with methidathion as a bare-earth treatment earlier in the year. Greg reports that neighbouring paddocks that were sprayed with bifenthrin or endosulfan have not suffer as much feeding damage, however, it isn’t known what the bryobia mite numbers were prior to chemical applications.

Bryobia mites are important pests of clovers, canola, wheat and lupins. They are less than 1 mm long with a fawn-orange coloured body and orange legs. In the field they are often misidentified as the redlegged earth mite. Bryobia mites can be distinguished by their long forelegs, which are 1.5 times their body length. Unlike most other earth mite species, bryobia mites are most active in warm conditions in autumn, spring and summer.

Click here for images of bryobia mites and refer to PestFacts Issue No. 2 for further information.

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