Susceptibility of grain legume species to redlegged earth mite (Halotydeus destructor Tucker) damage at the seedling stage

D.J. ThackrayA,B, T.J. Ridsdill-SmithA,C and D.J. GillespieA,B

A Co-operative Research Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture, University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia 6907, Australia.

B Agriculture Western Australia, Locked Bag No. 4, Bentley Delivery Centre, Western Australia 6983, Australia.

C CSIRO Division of Entomology, Private Bag, PO Wembley, Western Australia 6014, Australia.


Six species of grain legumes were assessed for seedling resistance to the redlegged earth mite, Halotydeus destructor. The numbers of mites on plants, damage to leaves and effects on plant dry matter were assessed in choice and no-choice experiments. Field peas and faba beans suffered severe damage from the feeding of large numbers of mites. Fewer mites fed on lentils which suffered less damage. Mites caused severe damage to the cotyledons but considerably less damage to the true leaves of narrow-leafed lupins. Although mites were present on the leaves of albus lupins the plants suffered no damage and there was no effect of mites on their shoot or root dry weights. No mites were found on chickpeas and no damage was seen. When mites were given a choice of species to feed on, the relative damage to each species was similar to that found when mites had no choice. The exception was lentils which were relatively less damaged than in the no-choice experiment.


Plant Protection Quarterly (1997) 12 (3) 141-144.