Red Spider Mite (TETRANYCHUS EVANSI) – an important pest of Tomato crop

1 comment

Tomato [SOLANUM LYCOPERSICUM] crop is one the main vegetable crop among the Indian farmers. Red spider mites (TETRANYCHUS EVANSI) are important pest which can cause major losses at all stages of the crop. These organisms are not insects and suck the sap being living underneath the leaves.

            Red spider infestation on Tomato crop

Red spider mites (TETRANYCHUS EVANSI) which lives on tomato crop are small and have eight legs. The colour of the red spider may vary from light orange to deep orange or brown.

            Red spider mite

The mites can live in the temperatures in between 100 C to 340 C. The total duration of the life cycle is 14 days at lower temperatures 210 C and less than a week at higher temperatures of 300 C. Red spider mites have the ability to hibernate without food in the winter and emerge out and re-infest the crops in favourable seasons.

                     Red spider mites

The Red spider mites may go more than 1 lakh within a span of one month at high dry temperatures. In high humid conditions the reproduction rates are lesser.

                     Red spider mites reproduction with web

Life Cycle:

Red spider mites undergo 5 stages. Egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, and adult. 

                     Life cycle of Red Spider mites


Eggs of the Red spider mites (TETRANYCHUS EVANSI) are round shaped and orange in colour, bright when laid, turns reddish rusty by the time of hatching. If the eggs are unfertilised the get converted to males. A single female adult can lay more than 100 eggs in 3 weeks’ time.

                     Red spider mite eggs


Young Larvae will be in light green or pinkish coloured, slightly larger than eggs with six legs. The spider mite larvae feed on plant tissues, sucking the sap creating the paler spots on the leaves. On growing the larval colour changes and spots began to appear.

                     Red spider larvae

Nymphal stage:

Once the larvae grows they have to attain the nymphal stage of Red spider mites (TETRANYCHUS EVANSI) looks similar to adults with eight legs but are little smaller the colour will be greenish to orange red. Initial nymphal stage is Protonymph which is shorter and later nymphal stage is called Deutonymph. During this stage they can form the web.

                      Nymphs of Red spider mites


Female mites are little bigger [0.5 mm] than males [0.30 mm]. Females are broad oval in shape and males are more elongated triangular in shape. Males also differ in colour and will be straw coloured or orange coloured. Adults can reproduce the both sexually and asexually and unfertilised eggs hatch out as males. Adult mites can also form he webs.

                Red spider mites adults

The tomato Red spider mites (TETRANYCHUS EVANSI) resembles other common spider mites species two spotted mite (Tetranychus urticae) and bean spider mite (T. ludeni).

                Tetranychus urticae mites     Tetranychus ludeni


The mites can be found undersurface of the leaves near the leaf veins. They may also move over to the other side also. Sucking sap or feeding makes the leaves yellowish white and mostly mottled. In severe infestations these red spider mites spin webs, first at under surface, later full leaves, sometimes the whole plants will be densely webbed. In high severe conditions the plants may even die.

     Red spider mites damage on tomato crop

Alternate hosts:

Crops of Solanaceae family like Potato, brinjal, weed Solanum nigrum, beans, Citrus plants, cotton, tobacco, roses and other ornamentals.

     Red spider infestation on SOLANUM NIGRUM.     Red spider infestation on Brinjal.   Red spider infestation on ROse plants

Movement of Red spider mites:

Red Spider mites are spread through winds, mites can walk shorter distances in search of hosts, contaminated tools, and workers’ clothes and longer distances spread by movement of infested hosts.

                    Spreading of mites by workers in tomato field



Make the tomato crop grow in clean and healthy environments with proper nutrient management practices and plants grow stronger and may tolerate the attack.

                      Healthy tomato crop

Check for the alternate hosts are not in the vicinity of the crop at the same time they may be grown trap crop.

Maintain hygiene and train the workers to avoid the spread on mites from plant

Miticidal sprays:

The acaricides from naturally available substances are used to clip the mites infestaions. Royal mite 2 mL/L + Ecotin 5 % - 0.5 mL/L OR Vidi Greenpath 2 mL/L + Ecotin 5 % - 0.5 mL/L or of water.

                Natural control of Red Spider mites

Red spider mites by nature dwells under surface of the leaves and near the veins. Spraying on the surface of the leaves may not kill them, but they can be killed when the miticide/acaricide can reach the down surface, with translaminar activity. Some the miticides/acaricides which may be used to kill the red spider mites are as follows.


Miticide/ Acaricide


Dosage per litre of water for spray



Propargite 57% EC

2 mL



Fenpyroximate 5% EC

1-1.5 mL



Hexythiaziox 4.45 %

1 -1.5 mL



Spiromesifen 22.9 % SC

1-1.5 mL



Ethion 40%+ Cypermethrin 5% EC

2 -2.5 mL



Abamectin 1.9% EC

1 mL



 Fenazaquin 10% EC

2 mL


            Chemical control of red spider mites


For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM


Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.


Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.



1 comment


    Rid mites

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Explore more

Share this