|Wergin, William - RETIRED USDA ARS|
|Frye, Christopher - MD DEPT. NAT. RESOURCES|
Submitted to: International Journal of Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 2001
Publication Date: September 1, 2001
Citation: Internat. J. Acarol. 27(3):179-187. (peer-reviewed journal article) Interpretive Summary: Many species of insects, mites, and weeds have invaded the U.S. and cause billions of dollars in damage each year. This paper reports on the discovery of an eriophyid mite that feeds on Canada thistle, a noxious weed. Previously, the mite was known only to exist in Europe. Because Canada thistle is a major weed, investigations were carried out on the exact identification, distribution, and host specificity of the mite. Thi study demonstrated that the mite, Aceria anthocoptes, is highly specific for Canada thistle and is widely distributed in the U.S. Consequently, it may prove to be a useful biological control agent for this weed. This research will benefit biological control specialists, conservationists, and plant quarantine personnel.
Technical Abstract: A rust mite not previously reported in the U.S. was observed on Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.) growing in Maryland. Based on examination of specimens under light and low-temperature scanning electron microscopy, the mite was identified as the rust mite Aceria anthoscoptes (Nal.). The mite was found to be present throughout Maryland and its bordering states and in two mid-northern states (Minnesota and North Dakota). Other Cirsium species growing near Canada thistle infested with A. anthocoptes did not harbor the mite. We conclude that, although only recently discovered in this geographic region, A anthocoptes is widely distributed in the U.S. and it is host specific to Canada thistle.