The citrus leprosis mite, Brevipalpus yothersi Baker, is not considered to cause major damage to orange trees in the Brazilian Amazonas state. However, little is known about the diversity of plant mites and about mite damage to plants in this state of northern Brazil. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the level of occurrence of the leprosis mite in this region and the diversity and prevailing population levels of associated mites in unsprayed orange groves of the surroundings of Manaus, Amazonas state. In total, 1,614 mites were collected on citrus trees (616 of eminently predatory groups, 541 of eminently phytophagous groups and 457 of other groups). On plants growing spontaneously in orange groves, 514 mites were collected (270 of eminently predatory groups, 26 of eminently phytophagous groups and 218 of other groups). Most predators collected (638 specimens) belonged to Phytoseiidae, representing 14 species. The most abundant phytoseiids were Amblyseius aerialis Muma and Iphiseiodes zuluagai Denmark & Muma. Only 197 B. yothersi were collected, on leaves of orange, Lantana camara L. and Solanum paniculatum L.. Leprosis symptoms were not observed, and this may be related to the relatively low densities of the leprosis mite. The plant species Borreria verticillata (L.), Clidenia hirta (L.), L. camara, Paspalum virgatum L. and S. paniculatum are reservoirs of two abundant predatory mites of orange trees, A. aerialis and I. zuluagai.
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Vol. 23 • No. 3