Rhyncaphytoptus ficifoliae Keifer
Taxonomic placing: Acari, Prostigmata, Eriophyoidea, Diptilomiopidae.
Common name: Fig leaf mite.
Geographical distribution: North Africa, Middle East, Iran, India and Pakistan, Australia.
Host plants: Fig.
Economic importance: An important pests of figs in Egypt and in southwestern Iran.
Morphology: Gnathosoma relatively large, prodorsal shield with two setae, tibia I without solenidion, featherclaw deeply divided medially.
Life cycle: This mite is viviparous, each female producing about 23 larvae during about 12 days. A generation lasts about 2 weeks and the pest has three annual peaks of abundance: in early June, during July and the third takes place in October-November.
Chemical control: A single application of abamectin sufficed for a whole year in Egypt.
Biological control: The phytoseiid Phytoseius plumifer Canestrini and Fanzago feeds and develops on R. ficifoliae in Iran. Another phytoseiid, Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot, and the stigmaeid Agistemus exsertus Gonzalez) attacks the pest in Egypt.
Abou-Awad, B.A., El-Sawaf, B.M. and Abdel-Khalek, A.A. 1999. Impact of two eriophyoid fig mites, Aceria ficus and Rhyncaphytoptus ficifoliae, as prey on postembryonic development and oviposition rate of the predacious mite Amblyseius swirskii. Acarologia 40: 367-371.
Abou-Awad, B.A., El-Sawaf, B.M., Reda, A.S. and Abdel-Khalek, A.A. 2001. Environmental management and biological aspects of the two eriophyoid fig mites Aceria ficus (Cotte) and Rhyncaphytoptus ficifoliae Keifer in Egypt. Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde 73: 5-12.
Louni, M., Jafari, S. and Shakarami, J. 2014. Life table parameters of Phytoseius plumifer (Phytoseiidae) fed on Rhyncaphytoptus ficifoliae (Diptilomiopidae) under laboratory conditions. Systematic & Applied Acarology 19: 275–282