The species Phytonemus pallidus is widely known as the Cyclamen mite. This arthropod pest is common to greenhouse crops and can cause widespread damage through intensive feeding. The Cyclamen mite feeds through sucking the cell contents, resulting in detrimental damage. This species is extremely difficult to recognize and treat, and most conventional mitecide products do not offer good efficacy.
The Cyclamen mite is difficult to identify due to its small size (0.3 mm), and often is not detected until severe damage occurs. Damage often results in the curling up of leaves (epinastia) and blotching, with some foliage turning purple in colour. The mite itself is white-translucent, green or orange in colour, with six legs for the first nymph and eight legs for the remaining stages. The mites are often found around the base of the plant or near the buds.
When scouting for Cyclamen mites it is extremely important to take great care to avoid the transfer of any mites from an infected plant to another un-infected one, as they are hard to detect, and can easily attach to the fingers and cloths while sampling. If a single plant is believed to be infected, it is best to destroy it in situ, rather than risking the infestation of non-infested plants. However, in instances of larger infestation, then the use of an insecticide-mitecide product is highly recommended.