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Title: Ontogenetic modification in the Tuckerellidae (Acari: Tetranychoidea)

item Beard, Jenny - Queensland Museum
item Ochoa, Ronald - Ron

Submitted to: International Journal of Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2009
Publication Date: 4/1/2010
Citation: Beard, J., Ochoa, R. 2010. Ontogenetic modification in the Tuckerellidae (Acari: Tetranychoidea). International Journal of Acarology. 36(2):169-173.

Interpretive Summary: Mites cause millions of dollars of damage to agriculture annually. Peacock mites and their role as pests are relatively unknown in the literature. Our research indicates that they are capable of causing severe damage to their host by feeding directly on the bark and fruit. In comparison to spider mites, the peacock mites have long been considered unusual in that they undergo an extra nymphal stage during development. This paper reports for the first time that only the female undergoes this extra stage. This study will be important to biological control workers, biologists, ecologists and other systematists.

Technical Abstract: The Tuckerellidae is the only a phytophagous family within the Tetranychoidea (Acari) that retains the ancestral prostigmatan condition of three nymphal stages during development; however it is only the female developmental sequence that retains a tritonymphal stage. Adult females develop from a tritonymphal stage, whereas adult males Tuckerella develop directly from the deutonymphal stage. Key words – Plant feeding mite, Tuckerellidae, peacock mites, life cycle, ontogeny, Tetranychoidea, pharate, instar, Acari.