Colomerus vitis Pgst. - Grape Erineum Mite (Vine Leaf Blister Mite)

Systematic position.

Class Arachnida, order Prostigmata, superfamily Eriophyoidea, family Eriophyidae, genus Colomerus Newkirk & Keifer.


Phytoptus vitis Pagenstecher, Eriophyes vitis Pagenstecher.

Biological group.

Pest of grape.

Morphology and biology.

Body length, 0.18-0.22 mm, width 0.05-0.06 mm. Body vermiform and whitish. Piercing and suctorial type of mouthparts located on gnatosoma, the forepart of body. Pedipalpus has four segments. Chelicerae curved and needle shaped. Propadosoma is the next part of body, with 2 pairs of legs directed forward. Propadosoma has a small frontal lobe. Abdomen (opistosoma) ending with a tail plate bearing 2 long setae on each side. Life cycle of mites includes stages of egg, protonymph, deutonymph, and adult. Females hibernate under the outer bud scales and inside cracks at base of one year old sprouts. Feeding on juice begins in spring after bud breaking. The mites are usually located on the lower leaf surface. They cause galls (or erineums) 0.2-0.86 cm in diameter, which look like hemispherical swellings, being convex on upper surface of leaf and concave on underside. Galls are reddish or greenish depending on grape variety. Galls on the lower leaf surface are covered with a felt-like layer, which is white at first and brownish later. The felt-like layer consists of curled trichomes being produced by leaf epithelium after damage by mite.


Western Europe, Near East, Iran, USA, Australia. In the former USSR, the species inhabits all territories of grape growing in Moldova, Ukraine, southern part of European Russia, Transcaucasia, Middle Asia, and South Kazakhstan.


At least 2 biological races of this mite are known; mites of the 1st one cause galls on leaves, mites of the 2nd race attack buds. The Grape Erineum Mite gives 5-11 generations in Moldova, 7-10 in Transcaucasia, 3-4 in Kazakhstan. Female lays eggs between trichomes after additional feeding. Fertility is about 40 eggs. Egg develops 10-12 days. First galls appear in the beginning of May. The air temperature about 22-25°C and air humidity 40% are the most favorable conditions for the mites. Maximal adult and nymph density happens at the stage of grape growth, amounting to 240-840 specimens per leaf. In southern regions, winter diapause begins in early autumn. Phytoseius sp., Typhlodromus rhenanus Oud., T. soleiger Ribaga, Stethorus punctillum Weise, Scolothrips longicornis Priesner, Acaroletes tetranychorum Kieffer are predators of the gall mites. One predatory mite consumes to 15 individuals of the Grape Erineum Mite every day.

Economic significance.

Mites damaging leaves decrease assimilating surface of plants. Mites damaging terminal buds cause shortening of internodes and zigzag growth of young shoots. Cultivation of resistant varieties of vine is an important preventive control measure against the C. vitis. Control measures also include acaricide treatments in the phase of 3-4 first true leaves after the mass emergence of mites.

Reference citations:

Bagdasaryan A.T. 1981. Eriophyidae acarines of fruit trees and shrubs in Armenia. Erevan: AN Armyanskoi SSR, 202 p. (in Russian).
Chubinishvili Ts.I. 1968. Preliminary data on eriophyoid mites (Acariformes, Eriophyoidae) . pests of vine in Georgia. In: Kanchaveli L.A., ed. Proceedings of Session of Transcaucasian Board to coordination research works on plant protection. Tbilisi: NIIZR Gruz.SSR, p. 397-400 (in Russian).
Khalilova S.G. 1979. Study of the blister mites (Acariformis . Tetrapodili) damaging plants in Caucasus Minor (inside Azerbaijan). In: Ismailov, A.S., ed. Proceedings of Azerb. University (4). Baku: Azerb. University, p. 17-22 (in Russian).
Livshits I.Z. & Mitrofanov V.I. 1984. Order Acariformes. In: Kopaneva L.M., ed. Keys to harmful and useful insects and mites of fruit and berry cultures in the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos. 288 p. (in Russian).
Malchenkova N.I. 1975. Mites . pests of vine. Kishinev: Shtinitsa, 50 p. (in Russian).
Melnikova E.A. & Andreeva L.V. 1973. Study of Eriophyes vitis Pgst. (Acarina, Eriophyidae) and its predators in Alma-Ata Region. In: Growing of agricultural plants in Kazakhstan. Proceedings of Kazakh. SKhI, 16(1/2). Alma-Ata: Kazakh. SKhI, p. 112-114 (in Russian).
Polyakov I.Ya., Kopaneva L.M. & Dorokhova G.I. 1984. Number and distribution of pests and entomophages of fruit and berry cultures in different agricultural zones of the USSR. In: Kopaneva L.M., ed. Keys to harmful and useful insects and mites of fruit and berry cultures in the USSR. Leningrad: Kolos, p. 6-45 (in Russian).
Prints Ya.I. 1962. Pests and diseases of vines. Moscow: Selkhozgiz: 246 p. (in Russian).
Rekk G.F. 1976. Catalogue of Acariformes of the Georgian SSR. Tbilisi: Metsniereba. 128 p. (in Russian).
Seryi N.I. & Malchenkova N.I. 1968. Bud mites on vine. Horticulture, viticulture and winemaking in Moldavia (Kishinev) 2: 43-46 (in Russian).
Shevchenko V.G. 1964. Eriophyoid mites. Plant protection from pests and diseases (8). Moscow: Kolos, p. 31-33 (in Russian).
Slepyan E.I., Landsberg G.S. & Malchenkova N.I. 1969. Gall of Eriophyes vitis Pgst. (Acarina, Eriophyidae) as its habitat. Entomol. obozr. 48(1): 125-131 (in Russian).
Smith L.M. & Stafford E.M. 1948. The bud mite and the erineum mite of grapes. Hilgardia (Berkeley) 18(7): 317-344.
Vasil'ev V.P., ed. 1973. Pests of agricultural crops and forest plantations. V. 1. Kiev: Urozhai, 496 p. (in Russian).
Vilnitskaya E.V. 1972. Eriophyoid mites in vineyard of Rostov Region. In: Potapenko Ya.I., ed. Russian vine (Proceedings of NII of Viticulture and Winemaking), 5(14). Novocherkassk: NII of Viticulture and Winemaking, p. 169-175 (in Russian).

© David'yan G.E.

Picture taken from Bagdasaryan A.T. 1981. Eriophyidae acarines of fruit trees and shrubs in Armenia. Erevan: AN Armyanskoi SSR, 202 p. (in Russian).

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