A new species of Canadian gall mite challenges current classification of a major lineage

phys.org | 6/22/2015 | Staff
melanie7 (Posted by) Level 3
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A new species of gall mites (Setoptus tsugivagus) associated with the Western hemlock (a common coniferous tree at the west coast of North America) has been described by a group of scientists from Russia, Serbia and the U.S. The researchers believe that the current classification of the Setoptus mites and other groups should be reconsidered, because species that were previously considered as closely related do not have a common ancestor. The results of the study were published in Systematic and Applied Acarology.

About one-third of microscopic phytoparasites (400 species out of 5000) are gall mites that inhabit coniferous plants. They lack two back pairs of legs and belong to the superfamily of Eriophyoidea (four-legged mites). The group has tree families—Eriophyidae, Diptilomiopidae and Phytoptidae, and the latter include a group called Nalepellinae. This group was divided into three subgroups (tribes): Pentasetacini, Nalepellini and Trisetacini. However, molecular and genetic analyses show that the tribe Pentasetacini is not related to Nalepellini and Trisetacini. Instead, the Pentasetacini was elevated to a separate family, Pentasetacidae, and Nalepellini and Trisetacini were placed in the family Phytoptidae.

Nalepellinae - Tubes - Group - Pinaceae - Cupressaceae

The Nalepellinae are characterized by long, recurved spermathecal tubes. This group inhabits Pinaceae, Cupressaceae, and Taxaceae trees. The Nalepellinae are found in North America, Eurasia, and Eastern Asia, which are the areas with the largest diversity of coniferous plants.

A team of scientists from Saint Petersburg State University, the Institute of Zoology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Tyumen...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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