AskIFAS Powered by EDIS

Citrus Pest Quick Guide: Citrus Rust Mite and Pink Citrus Rust Mite (Phyllocoptruta oleivora Ashmead) (Aculops pelekassi Keifer)

L. M. Diepenbrock and J. D. Burrow

The purpose of this fact sheet is to aid in the identification of a common insect pest in citrus and its damage. This publication is targeted for a general public audience

Life Cycle

Citrus rust mite (CRM) and pink citrus rust mite (PCRM) are very similar but do have subtle differences that separate the two species.


Citrus Rust Mite (Crm)

Citrus rust mite adults and eggs.

Pink Citrus Rust Mite (Pcrm)

Pink citrus rust mite adults.


Spherical and clear, found along leaf midribs or clustered in fruit depressions

Flat and opaque, found scattered along the leaf or fruit surface

Nymphs (Larvae)

Resemble adults, changefrom clear to yellow as they age

Resemble adults; change fromclear to pink as they age


Straw-colored to yellow with an elongated, wedge-shaped body

Pink, narrower, more rounded, and smaller than the CRM


14 to 20 days

14 to 20 days

Peak Activity

Populations build in early summer

Early spring; feed on leaves and flowers before moving to fruit


Both mites feed on green stems, leaves, and fruit. Damage from high populations of CRM can lead to fruit drop. PCRM can also cause damage to leaves.

Rust mites prefer hot, dry conditions and are generally found feeding on the fruit and foliage on the outer margins of the tree. Populations have been noted to be higher in the north bottom of trees as compared to the south upper portion of trees.

The main concern with CRM and PCRM is damage to fruit intended for fresh market, as blemishes render the fruit unable to be sold. However, when damage is severe, it can also reduce juice quality.

Citrus rust mite adults and eggs.
Figure 1. Citrus rust mite adults and eggs.
Credit: C. C. Childers, UF/IFAS


Pink citrus rust mite adults.
Figure 2. Pink citrus rust mite adults.
Credit: M. E. Rogers, UF/IFAS


Citrus rust mite damage. Inset: Bronzing damage caused by citrus rust mite.
Figure 3 . Citrus rust mite damage. Inset: Bronzing damage caused by citrus rust mite. 
Credit: M. E. Rogers, UF/IFAS; J. D. Burrow, UF/IFAS 


Pink citrus rust mite damage.
Figure 4 . Pink citrus rust mite damage.  
Credit: C. C. Childers, UF/IFAS 


Peer Reviewed

Publication #ENY2103

Release Date:August 22, 2023

Related Experts

Diepenbrock, Lauren M.


University of Florida

Burrow, Jamie D.


University of Florida

Related Collections

Part of Citrus Pest Quick Guides series

Related Topics

Fact Sheet

About this Publication

This document is ENY-2103, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date June 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Lauren M. Diepenbrock, assistant professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center; and Jamie D. Burrow, Extension program manager, UF/IFAS Citrus REC; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Jamie Burrow
  • Lauren Diepenbrock