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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.


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

Date:August 22nd, 2023

Related Experts

Diepenbrock, Lauren M.


University of Florida

Burrow, Jamie D.


University of Florida

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Part of Citrus Pest Quick Guides series

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Fact Sheet


  • Jamie Burrow
  • Lauren Diepenbrock