page updated 2 June 2003
recovered & updated 20thDecember2017
Citrus Red Mite (female) from below.
Male - note more pointed abdomen
Side view of a mite.
These two images show pairs of mites which are often seen next to each other, and remain in this position. One is always darker than the other. I'm not sure whether one is male and one female. I can't find any references to this, so perhaps an expert can help!
References to Citrus Red Mite said that the eggs of this species were identified by a central stalk and radiating threads from the top to anchor them in position. For a long time I couldn't see this - until I stood a piece of leaf on edge, so that the egg 'stalk' was in focus along its whole length.
The left picture also shows the 'shell' of a hatched egg.
IntelPlay QX3 Computer Microscope
...this first section was written in June 2003! New images below.
Although designed as a childrens toy, this microscope is a useful tool for adults too!
It plugs straight into a USB socket and is capable of optical magnification of X10, X60 and X200. All the pictures below were taken at maximum magnification.
Citrus Red Mite Images - Panonychus citri
Two Spotted Spider Mite - Tetranychus urticae
This variety is the most common glasshouse red spider mite in Britain - although as you can see it's not red. These were difficult images to capture as the mites insisted on running around too fast to have time to focus on them properly! I have since been told a good way of slowing them down would be to cool them in a fridge for a while!
Unknown Mite - Identification??
I see this black-bodied variety quite frequently in my greenhouse. It moves faster than other types and does not form large colonies. I suspect it may be a predatory type that does not feed on citrus itself.
In 2016 I bought a better biological microscope, plus a digital viewfinder attachment. It is sold in the UK as model SP22 by Brunel Microscopes, and I can recommend this as an excellent model for the amateur scientist at home. Certainly a vast improvement on the QX3. A flexible-head LED light for top illumination is a useful accessory for thicker specimens.