Foldscope view of Marigold leaves infested with spidermites

Marigold is prized for its bright colours easy to grow nature and require little care. The plant is hardy and perfect for landscape settings and home gardens. While marigolds are typically pest-free and not bothered by most insects, occasional problems may arise with a few common garden pests.

I could see some powdery appearance on the Marigold plants growing in a pot. Suspecting mildew. Suspecting mildew I collected the sample and observed it under my foldscope.

I was astonished to see crawling insects and on detailed observation found the white powder to be the web of the spidermites.

The web-spinning mites called Spider mites are very small, barely visible to the naked eye and the most common mite pests of all pests in the garden and on the farm. Adult mites have eight legs and an oval body with two red eyespots near the head end. Females usually have a large, dark blotch on each side of the body and numerous bristles covering the legs and body. The newly hatched ones have only six legs, while the other immature stages have eight legs. Eggs are spherical and appear like tiny droplets. According to experts a single colony may contain hundreds of individuals on infested leaves. Several common species spin fine, irregular webs over the infested parts of plants but others may have little or no webbing. In webbed species, presence of webbing helps identify them from all other types of mites and small insects such as aphids and thrips, which can also infest leaf undersides. The attack is quite rapid and the plants that routinely look healthy, may develop fine spider web within a short span of 24-48 hours.

Peeping through the foldscope, I could make out brown dusky eggs in large numbers. The hatching of eggs and the 6-legged young ones that later develop into 8-legged adults was clearly seen in the spidermite colony The females with dark spots on their back was remarkable to view under foldscope.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. laksiyer says:

    These are gogeous images. I can see the feeding posture in some of them. One thing that I’ve been wanting to do is a development series from egg to hatching. The foldscope is perfect for that.

    1. JDua_SD21 says:

      Thanks sir. I will try to observe sir.

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