The most common post–zygotic isolation mechanism between populations of the phytophagous mite Tetranychus urticae is ‘hybrid breakdown’, i.e. when individuals from two different populations are crossed, F1 hybrid females are produced, but F2 recombinant male offspring suffer increased mortality. Two spotted spider mites collected from two populations, one on rose and the other on cucumber plants, were infected with Wolbachia bacteria. These bacteria may induce cytoplasmic incompatibility in their hosts: uninfected (U) females become reproductively incompatible with infected (W) males. We report on the effect of Wolbachia infections in intra–and interstrain crosses on (i) F1 mortality and sex ratios (a test for cytoplasmic incompatibility), and (ii) the number of haploid offspring and mortality in clutches of F1 virgins (a test for hybrid breakdown). U x W crosses within the rose strain exhibited partial cytoplasmic incompatibility. More interestingly, F2 males suffered increased mortality, a result identical to the hybrid breakdown phenomenon. The experiments were repeated using females from the cucumber strain. In interstrain U x W and U x U crosses, hybrid breakdown was much stronger in the former (80 versus 26%).This is the first report of a Wolbachia infection causing a hybrid breakdown phenotype. Our results show that Wolbachia infections can contribute to reproductive incompatibility between populations of T.urticae.