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Fuchsia Gall Mite

Aculops fuchsiae

Fuchsia Gall Mite

Some Fuschia flowers affected by Aculops fuchsiae Fuschia Gall Mite
Aculops fuchsiae 456 by PaleCloudedWhite (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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Fuchsia Gall Mites are tiny arachnids in the family Eriophyidae. Gall mites are sap-sucking plant pests; Aculops fuchsiae specifically target the flowers and leaves of Fuchsia. Although too small to be seen without a microscope, the galled tissues that they create are often very distinctive and easily recognised. From late spring to summer, abnormal growths may appear on Fuschia plants. With Fuchsia Gall Mite, galls can arise on the leaves and flowers. Fuchsia Gall Mites bring about abnormal development in plants by secretion of chemicals when they feed. The mites use the galls as habitat space and food resource. In most cases, the flowers will fail to open. If plants are left infested for too long and not treated, their growth may be stunted, resulting in plant death in the worst cases.
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Traits

Distortion of foliage and flowers.

Appearance

Adults: The mites are microscopic, less than 0.25mm in length and thus cannot be seen with the naked eye. They are pale yellow-white in colour and have worm-like bodies with two pairs of front legs. Study of these pests is incomplete, it is possible they cannot survive freezing temperatures, therefore cold winters may eradicate these mites on hardy garden Fuchsias. They tend to overwinter underneath bud scales and can survive winters in glasshouses.

Symptoms

Buds, flowers and leaves lose colour. Curling leaf edges and blistering in foliage. Red-pink or yellow-green distorted tissue at the growing tips. Distortion and abnormal development of the flowers. Overall stunted growth. Plant death of untreated plants.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Trombidiformes

Family

Eriophyidae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

South America, North America, Europe and the UK

Biological treatment

In most cases, this pest is not lethal to Fuchsia plants, but can strongly affect their appearance and growth. Damaged material should be pruned back to where it looks normal. Take care to dispose of infected material appropriately to avoid spreading the infection; it's advised to use council waste or burn affected plants. Some species and cultivars vary in their susceptibility to this pest, choose plants with higher resistance such as Fuchsia 'Baby Chang', Fuchsia 'Cinnabarina', Fuchsia 'Miniature Jewels', Fuchsia 'Space Shuttle', Fuchsia microphylla subsp. hidalgensis, Fuchsia thymifolia and Fuchsia venusta. Avoid more susceptible species such as Fuchsia arborescens, Fuchsia magellanica and Fuchsia procumbens.

Chemical treatment

There is currently no control or prevention available, these mites are tolerant of most home garden pesticide products.

Attracts

Fuchsia

Fuchsia spp.

A close up of a red and purple Fuchsia magellanica flower

Fuchsia magellanica

Fuchsia magellanica

A close up of some pink Fuchsia procumbens flowers growing in a garden

Tree Fuchsia

Fuchsia arborescens

A close up of a Fuchsia procumbens flower and some green leaves

Basket Fuchsia

Fuchsia procumbens

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