Oligonychus mangiferus

Oligonychus mangiferus (Rahman and Sapra)

Taxonomic placing: Acari, Prostigmata, Tetranychoidea, Tetranychidae.

Common name: Red mango mite.

Geographical distribution: The pest is widely distributed in the tropics, occurring also in Egypt and Israel.

Host plants: In the Israel the pest has so far been found only on mango, but in Egypt it is a serious pest of cotton and pomegranates. Elsewhere it occurs on grapes, litchi, roses and many other commercial host plants.

Morphology: The body of the female is dark red with darker spots on the hysteronotum; body length about 0.35-0.45 mm. The body of the male is dark red and it is 0.35 mm in length. Immature mites are red, 0.3-0.4 mm long.

Life history: This mite lives and feeds mostly on the upper leaf surface, where it spins delicate silk threads in which dust may gather. The pest prefers leaves at the upper levels of trees over those at the middle and bottom of the tree. A female produces 20-35 eggs, a life cycle is completed in a fortnight, and it requires 190 day-degrees for development. In Egypt 21 generations were annually raised, with a single April peak. Reproduction is by arrhenotoky, the sex ratio being about 1:4 males to females.

Economic importance: Mite feeding on mango leaves causes their wilting, then reddening and finally dropping, thereby reducing tree yield.


Cultural control: Pruning and removing old, infested inflorescences reduced mite numbers and increased yields in Egypt.

Chemical control: Acaricides, like avermectin, applied in winter, may control the pest.

Biological control: In Egypt the pest is attacked by various predators of the families Phytoseiidae and Stigmaeidae, as well as by coccinellids, but the extent of their controlling effect is not clear.


Abou-Awad, B. A., Afia, S. I. and Al-Azzazy, M. M. 2012. Ecological studies on the mango red spider mite Oligonychus mangiferus (Rahman and Sapra) in mango orchards (Acari: Tetranychidae). Acarines 6: 7-13.

Gerson, U. 1986. The spider mite Oligonychus mangiferus found on mango in Israel. Phytoparasitica 14: 148.

Lin, M.Y. 2013. Temperature-dependent life history of Oligonychus mangiferus (Acari: Tetranychidae) on Mangifera indica. Experimental and Applied Acarology 61: 403-13.

Rai, B., Shah, A. and Patel, R. 1988. Biology of Oligonychus mangiferus (Tetranychidae: Acarina), a pest of mango in Gujarat. Gujarat Agricultural University Research Journal 14: 5-10.

Zaher, M.A. and Osman, A.A. 1971. Population studies on mites associated with mango trees in Egypt (Acarina). Bulletin de la Sociètè Entomologique d’Egypte 54: 141-148.

Zaher, M.A. and Shehata, K.K. 1972. Biology of the red spider mite, Oligonychus mangiferus (R. & S.) (Acarina: Tetranychidae). Bulletin de la Sociètè Entomologique d’Egypte 55: 393-401.