Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/14/2010
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Only three eriophyoid mite species of the genus Leipothrix Keifer are known to occur on dipsacaceous plants including hosts in the genera Knautia (L.) Succisa Haller, and Dipsacus L.. These three species are similar, but differ in few key characters. Description of eriophyoids includes over 250 character stases, most of them quantitative. Quantitative description of morphological variation between closely related species can provide basic information needed to improve the eriophyoid taxonomic system. Moreover, morphometric analysis can help in distinguishing intraspecific variation including host-adapted strains or even cryptic species. The purpose of this study was to investigate quantitative morphological traits of two Leipothrix dipsacivagus Pet. and Rector populations inhabiting Dipsacus laciniatus L. in Serbia and two L. knautiae (Liro) populations inhabiting Knautia arvensis L. and K. dinarica (Murb.) from North Russia and Serbia, respectively. MANOVA analysis revealed significant differences in 23 commonly used morphometric traits. Discriminant analysis identified 11 traits that were significantly different between the four populations under study. The length of dorsal shield, number of ventral annuli, distance between (sc) tubercles, length of first ventral (d) setae, length of (2a) setae, and distance between tubercles (1b) have the most distinct discriminative power based on the first canonical function. This function clearly separated L. dipsacivagus from L. knautiae. The distance between (sc) tubercles, number of dorsal annuli, length of tibia of the II leg, length of body, length of (3a) setae, length of (c2) setae, and length of (d) setae have the most distinct discriminative power based on the second canonical function. This function made clear separations between three groups, viz. L. knautiae collected from K. arvensis in northern Russia, L. knautiae collected from K. dinarica in western Serbia, and L. dipsacivagus. [The two L. dipsacivagus populations were not separated by the second canonical function.] Phenotypic differences among investigated taxa may originate from the existence of morphologically different species (L. dipsacivagus versus L. knautiae), and from the existence of different host and/or geographical races (L. knautiae from two host plants: K. arvensis and K. dinarica collected at two distant localities).