Individuals of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae Koch (Acarina: Tetranychidae), with and without a capacity for diapause, coexist in central Japan. Diapause appears to be adaptive because females in diapause suffered less mortality than non-diapausing individuals when frozen at −24°C for more than 4 h. However non-diapausing females showed good survival up to 4 h of freezing. Active non-diapausing mites survived on rose leaves in Kyoto (35°N) throughout the winters of 1988–1989 and 1989–1990. Cultures of mites with low (LD) and high (HD) diapause capacities at 18°C and 9L-15D photoperiod were successfully selected from the rose population and from a population on chrysanthemum in Nara (34.4°N). Their life-history traits at 15, 20, 25 and 30°C were characterized. HD and LD mites from both populations were of similar ages at first reproduction at 15–30° C. However, at temperatures ≥20° C, HD individuals produced more eggs than LD individuals, resulting in higher fecundity and intrinsic rate of natural increase. These traits allow HD individuals, which stop breeding between October and April, to increase faster in summer than LD individuals. This provides a mechanism, together with climatic fluctuations, in maintaining the coexistence of diapausing and non-diapausing T. urticae in Kyoto where winter conditions are rarely lethal to the non-diapausing individuals.