travisa1989
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:41 am
Location: Washington DC

Spider mites? Specimen under microscope at 100 times

I was out hiking with a buddy the other day at one of my usual spots, and noticed tons and tons of raspberry plants everywhere along a certain path that I had never noticed before. I know that technically you are not supposed to do this, as it is frowned upon (if everyone did it, the plants would no longer be there; everyone should be able to enjoy their aesthetic appeal on a nice hike), but impulse got the best of me and I took a few clippings. Anyway, I'm attempting to get them to root in glasses with water.

A few days later, I noticed that somethings wasn't right. Pieces of the leaves were missing. They were starting to look unhealthy, and not in the same was as an ordinary unsuccessful clone. Then I noticed almost microscopic strands and my first instinct was some sort of spider mite. I soaked the plants underneath very dilute alcohol water for about 10 mins and then rinsed. I then sterilized all of the glassware and the entire area where I generally root my clones. I sprayed the cuttings with a somewhat less dilute solution of alcohol and water after placing them in their new glasses of water. I've read elsewhere that this works.

In a lab I took for school, we soaked barley seeds in a bleach water before running a series of experiments involving cutting the seeds up and controlling the amounts of abscisic acid, gibberellic acid, cycloheximide (inhibits eukaryotic translation), and cordycepin (inhibits eukaryotic transcription). So I might try that next while i keep these cuttings quarantined from the rest of my plants.

Here is an image that I took using my microscope at 100x magnification and my smartphone. This guy was still moving, so it's a bit blurry, and the fact that it's 3D so you have to change the focus to get a better view at certain parts.

Now to my questions. Has anyone ever tried bleach or alcohol on cuttings? Is it effective? Should I just toss them and seek new cuttings that are examined first and treated before attempting to root? Will it be effective to mist with the water/alcohol solution daily, or is it possible that this will kill my cuttings? Any input is appreciated, and I will definitely be back to update my results.

Edit: Originally I stated 40x magnification, this is actually 100x, sorry for the confusion.
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spider mite.jpg

imafan26
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Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Spider mites? Specimen under microscope at 100 times

While there are many different kinds of mites. I don't recognize this one. Mites are actually not true bugs (six legs) but are actually arachnids or spiders with 8 legs. And they usually have a more rounded body.

As for the cuttings. I have tried washing cutting that had bugs on them but it is hard to get them all and for the cutting to survive as well. It is best to treat the plant first and get it healthy. Insects may also be spreading disease to your plants. Young growth are the first to be attacked so they have been under stress already. Cuttings especially for plants with definite growth and dormant phases need to be taken at the right time of the year for success.

https://hort.purdue.edu/ext/prunerasp.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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