One organism that forms a predatory relationship with Peyote plants is Tetranychus urticae. The common name for this species is the red spider mite. These little creatures are very small with an average body size of only 0.5mm. These red, crawling, wingless, insects may not seem like much of a threat to the peyote plant, but they can do a lot of damage. Once they seek their teeth into the flesh of the plant, it immediately goes into dormancy. They do extensive damage to the plant parts including leaves, buds, and flowers. Unless the problem is eradicated the plants will whiter and die. However, if the red spider mites are killed off, the peyote plant will only suffer minor damage and will eventually come out of dormancy.
Red spider mite retrieved from Dean Morely from flickr Flowering peyote plant
For tips on how to control a Tetranychus urticae invasion please visit this site

While peyote can grow under a large range of conditions, it is commonly found forming a commensal relationship with surrounding dessert plants. Commensalism is a symbiotic relationship in which one organism receives benefits while the other remains unaffected. Peyote is commonly found growing under neighboring shrubs in order to get more shade. The plants that it most commonly utilizes are Proso-pis glandulous (mesquite), Larrea tridentate (creosote bush), and Agave lechuguilla.

Image of Agave lechuguilla from Carlos Velazco on Flickr Image of creosote bush from Colette on flickr

To learn interesting facts about Peyote please visit the extras page.

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