I'm wondering if anyone can tell me what's going on here. I'm not sure how to describe it, but fortunately there are pictures.
The plant is the Aloe nobilis I got from Lowe's about a month ago. It's been growing well, and has put on maybe three or four new leaves since it got here. However, the back of one leaf, and parts of the margins of two others, are doing this:
When I first saw this, my first thought was maybe Aloe mites, which I knew about only from having read all of Geoff Stein's articles on Davesgarden.com a while ago (also Dee at A Desert Observer has written about Aloe mites), but when I looked at the photos, I didn't see anything that looked like my plant -- those were mostly singular, rounded, cauliflower-like growths on one particular spot, not streaks of slightly-bumpy stuff.
So my best guess at the moment is aloe mites, but 1) I thought I should get a second opinion, and 2) if it is aloe mites, I'm wondering what I should do about it. I have imidacloprid and a sharp knife, if that helps, and I also have the receipt, so I could take it back to Lowe's for a refund if it's best not to even try messing with this. Recommendations?
UPDATE: I'm getting increasingly certain that this is an aloe mite infestation. First, after much wading through pages about how people can use Aloe vera to treat edema on human and animal body parts, I found a picture of edema on Aloe dichotoma, which presents as irregularly-shaped, slightly sunken, brown to tan patches. My plant has been wet, because it's in peaty soil that I haven't removed yet, but what my plant has doesn't look like Aloe edema, insofar as I can figure out what Aloe edema looks like.
Second, I found an eleven-month-old post at Garden Web, in a thread about an aloe-mite-infested plant that was being sold at Home Depot, in which a representative of Altman's, the wholesale supplier who sold the plant in question to HD (and also the producer of my plant, though I bought mine at Lowe's), showed up to say that 1) obviously Altman's would never knowingly send out a plant infested with aloe mites, and 2) it's sort of an ongoing problem for them because aloe mites are now part of the natural environment where they grow their plants and can wander into the production area, 3) sometimes Altman's plants catch mites from other, non-Altman's, plants in the garden centers where they're being sold, and 4) they're working hard to come up with a way to prevent infestations but aren't there yet.
These all seem like valid points (#3 is maybe only valid-ish), and I'm sure the people at Altman's are as nice and conscientious as any other similarly-sized group of people, but 1) I'm returning the plant to Lowe's on Monday and 2) it's going to be a long time before I feel comfortable buying an Aloe, Gasteria, or Haworthia (which also get aloe mites, BTW) from Lowe's again.