Bryobia Mites

Bryobia species

Family: - Tetranychidae

Order: - Acarina

Class: - Arachnida


Female parthenogenic - laying unfertilised eggs.

Male unknown or very rare.

Adult female lead grey with front end of body and legs red or pink.

Body - flattened, oval shape, green brown to lead grey.

Length - 0.7 mm long.

Legs - 4 pairs legs (front pair of legs twice as long as any other pair).

Mouth Parts - Piercing stylet for piercing and sucking plant tissue.

Eggs - Spherical red can develop to adult in 3 weeks from hatching under optimal conditions.

Nymphs - One larval and two nymphal stages.

3 pairs legs.

Bright red - older nymphs - same colour


Life Cycle:

Depends on the particular species.

e.g. Apple and pear Bryobia - overwintering eggs are found in creases of bark and at base of twigs and shoots. They hatch in spring with bud burst and feed on leaves. Summer eggs are usually laid on bark and have an incubation of 3 weeks. Adults grow and mature 3 weeks after hatching.

e.g. Clover Bryobia feed on grass and other low herbage, particularly plants belonging to legume family. They have life cycle similar to Redlegged Earth Mites or blue oat mite being active during cool, moist autumn to spring and producing dormant over summering eggs. Bryobia eggs hatch when rain occurs and don't have the same cool temperature requirement as Redlegged Earth Mite so they are often seen earlier in the season.


Origin and History:



They infest a wide range of plants including apple, pear, several Prunus species, gooseberry, walnut, hawthorn, ivy, clover, grass, herbaceous plants and occasionally cucumbers under glass. Bryobia mites are rarely an important pest but if present a fine speckling can develop on the foliage of their host. Damage results from the piercing of the leaves to extract plant sap. Leaves then lose their normal deep colour, becoming a pale and silvered or bronzed colour. Heavy infestation may cause yellowing, wilting and eventually defoliation of bushes.

Management and Control:

Bryobia mite is easily eradicated by most of acaricides.

In fruit trees some options for summer or spring are; oil, demeton-s-methyl, dicofol, tetradifon.

Clover Bryobia mites are usually controlled by Redlegged Earth Mite control procedures.

For paddocks to be cropped, green weeds may be sprayed with Le Mat before seeding to achieve control.

Controlling weeds in previous crops and in the autumn before planting will control many Bryobia Mite infestations.

Related Species:

Similar Species:

Redlegged Earth Mite have a darker or black body rather than a green brown body and don't have long front legs.


Ministry of Ag, Fisheries and Food (Publication). Willowburn Estate, Alnwick, Northumberland, Leaflet 305 revised 1985.


Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 for more information.