Mites of the family Tenuipalpidae have a worldwide distribution and can be found on many cultivated plants. Several species have been reported, especially by growers of greenhouse ornamentals.
Tenuipalpidae are known as false spider mites because they closely resemble spider mites (family Tetranychidae) or as flat mites because their body is rather flat compared to other mites. Most species that cause damage to cultivated plants belong to the genera Brevipalpus and Tenuipalpus. The most common species are Tenuipalpus pacificus, which causes damage to orchids and Brevipalpus phoenicis, Brevipalpus obovatus and Brevipalpus californicus which have an almost worldwide distribution and many host plants.