Fuchsia gall mite, Aculops fuchsiae

uchsia gall mite is an eriophyid mite that is damaging to many species of Fuchsia. It was first described from specimens in Brazil. It was detected in California in 1981 and spread north into the Pacific Northwest. It has also spread to Europe, detected in France in 2002 and found in England in 2007 and Germany in 2008.

The life cycle has four stages (egg, larva, nymph, and adult) and takes 21 days to complete at 18°C. Females can lay 50 eggs. The eggs hatch in 4-7 days. There are several generations per growing season. The mites can tolerate a winter temperature of 5°C. Mites are generally moved by passive dispersal such as by wind, birds, clothes, and tools as well as propagative material.

Damage from mite feeding includes leaf and bud distortion and galling. The galls start as a light green but reddens with age. The damage is most severe on new growth.

Management includes prevention (clean stock), quarantine of all new material, sanitation of pruning tools (such as soaking them in alcohol), bagging and disposal of infested stock, resistant varieties (Koehler 1995; Peirce 2006). There is some mention of predatory mite association but limited information on the efficacy of releases.

Eriophyid mites are often located in difficult to reach sites on the plant material making contact difficult. Miticides with locally systemic activity may be most effective. Repeat applications are likely required. Additional chemical management information can be found at the Horticulture, Landscape, and Ornamental Crops Section at the PNW Insect Management Handbook.

Website Resources:

CABI. 2014. Aculops fuchsia. Invasive species compendium.

DEFRA's Plant Pest Notice: Fuchsia gall mite, Aculops fuchsiae. This website has good information and images on the hosts, biology, damage, and management of the mite.

EPPO. Aculops fuchsiae.

Peirce, P. 2006. Fuchsias Rise Again in the Bay Area. Pacific Horticulture. July 2006.

UC IPM. Fuchsia gall mite - Aculops fuchsiae.

Koehler, et al. 1985. Fuchsia gall mite management. California Agriculture. July-August 1985.

Koehler, et al. 1981. Fuchsia gall mite management. Ornamentals Northwest Archives. Vol. 10, no. 3, pps. vii-viii.


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