The significance of the family Tenuipalpidae has risen from near obscurity to that of considerable economic importance over the last five decades. One or more species within the genera Brevipalpus, Cenopalpus, Dolichotetranychus, Raoiella, and Tenuipalpus are recognized as serious economic plant pests. However, only three species within the genus Brevipalpus are known to vector one or more cytoplasmic or nuclear type plant viruses, including citrus leprosis, coffee ringspot, green spot on passion fruit, and orchid fleck viruses. Related viruses have been identified in numerous ornamental plants that are vectored by B. phoenicis and B. obovatus. Affected plant species, their current distributions and known mite vectors are summarized in this paper. The life cycle and developmental times for the three Brevipalpus species are reviewed. Cryptic species within B. phoenicis have been identified on Hibiscus in Florida and Citrus sinensis in Honduras within recent years. This dictates the need for more intensive research to identify the extent of this species complex throughout the western hemisphere. More stringent guidelines are needed for the inspection and movement of live plant materials that are host plants for Brevipalpus mites from one country to another. Key words: Citrus leprosis, green spot of passion fruit, coffee ringspot, orchid fleck virus, false spider mites, flat mites
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