Location: Systematic Entomology
Title: Flat mite mouthparts and feeding: Raoiella a case study (Tetranychoidea: Tenuipalpidae) Authors
Submitted to: Experimental and Applied Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2011
Publication Date: March 18, 2012
Citation: Beard, J.J., Ochoa, R., Bauchan, G.R., Welbourn, W.C., Pooley, C.D., Dowling, A.G. 2012. Flat mite mouthparts and feeding: Raoiella a case study (Tetranychoidea: Tenuipalpidae). Experimental and Applied Acarology. 57(3-4):227-255. Interpretive Summary: Plant feeding mites cause severe damage to agricultural crops around the world, costing many millions of dollars annually. Red Palm Mite is considered one of the most important invasive flat mite species because it attacks palms, bananas and other ornamentals world wide. This scientific paper reports new discoveries about the specialized feeding behavior of the Red Palm Mite and related species compared with feeding by related groups of flat mites. Red palm mite and closely related species feed on special areas of the leaf known as stomata, while other flat mites and spider mites feed directly over the surface (epidermis) of the leaf. This information will be useful in the control, detection, and exclusion of red palm mite and related species. It will be used by Federal and State plant quarantine officers, plant protection and pest control programs, palm and ornamental nurseries and greenhouses, extension workers and state agriculture departments.
Technical Abstract: Low temperature scanning electron microscopy (LTSEM) allows an almost perfect preservation of specimens and offers an extraordinarily detailed glimpse of micromorphology and behaviour. The use of LTSEM to study mouthpart morphology in the mite family Tenuipalpidae, in particular the genus Raoiella, has brought into question some aspects of the mechanics of feeding in this family. In addition, the LTSEM study of the specialized feeding behaviour of the major pest red palm mite Raoiella indica (Tetranychoidea: Tenuipalpidae) on several different host plants revealed that host plant use in this species is in part affected by the morphology of the stomatal complex. Key words: Australopalpus, Brevipalpus, Cenopalpus, epidermis, mesophyll, palmetto, Pentamerismus, Sabal, spidermite, stomata, stylet, Tenuipalpus, Tetranychidae, Tuckerella, Urigersonis