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Type: Article
Published: 2018-10-11
Page range: 573–585
Abstract views: 195
PDF downloaded: 4

A new species of Aculus mite (Acari: Eriophyidae), a potential biocontrol agent for Australian swamp stonecrop, Crassula helmsii (Crassulaceae)

NSW Department of Primary Industries, Biosecurity Collections, Orange Agricultural Institute, Locked Bag 6006, 1447 Forest Rd, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Entomology and Agricultural Zoology. P.O. Box 127, 11080 Belgrade-Zemun, Nemanjina 6, Serbia. Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Knez Mihailova 35, Belgrade 11000, Serbia
Institute for Plant Protection and Environment Belgrade, Banatska 33, Zemun, Serbia.
CABI, Bakeham Lane, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9TY, United Kingdom.
Acari biological control DNA barcoding taxonomy eriophyid eriophyoid mites Eriophyoidea gall mite weeds


A new, gall-forming eriophyoid mite species is described from Australia. Aculus crassulae sp. nov. was found causing significant leaf deformation in Crassula helmsii (Kirk) Cockayne (Crassulaceae), a semi-aquatic, succulent plant. Native to Australia and New Zealand, this plant is now a highly invasive weed in the United Kingdom and Western Europe. The host specificity of the new mite species, and damage caused to the host plant, infer its potential to be a valuable biological control agent in countries where Australian swamp stonecrop is threatening native flora. The species description provided here, which also includes a revised diagnosis for the genus Aculus, incorporates line drawings and scanning electron micrographs (SEM). This is supplemented by a partial mitochondrial gene sequence of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (mtCOI) and the sequence was compared with Aculus amygdali Xue & Hong and Aculus ichnocarpi (Ghosh & Chakrabarati) available in the NCBI database. Pairwise comparison of mtCOI sequences between A. crassulae sp. nov. and two congeneric species revealed 22.6% and 23.1% genetic divergence, respectively.



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