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Scanning electron microscopic (SEM) study of selected Tenuipalpidae (Acari: Prostigmata; Pentamerismus, Aegyptobia) from Turkey
Tiedt, Louwrens Rasmus
Ueckermann, Edward Albert
Sağlam, H. Didem
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False spider mites (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) are flattened and red in color. They are distributed worldwide and considered as cosmopolitan pests. Some of the species are host specific, found on greenhouse plants as well as many other plants. Some of the tenuipalpids, such as Pentamerismus sp., have been found on coniferous host plants and forest trees such as Juniperus sp. and Thuja sp. Tenuipalpids puncture the epidermis of the host plants and suck out the juices with their needle-shaped mouth parts. Their damage causes leaves to turn brown and finally to wilt and die. This damage resembles that caused by spider mites. Although taxonomic characters are extensively used for the identification of tenuipalpids, their ultrastructure is not sufficiently well studied. False spider mite species were surveyed in recreational areas in Ankara, Turkey in 2008 and 2009. Thuja sp., Juniperus sp., and Taxus sp. were sampled and the mite species collected were identified using a light microscope. Their identification is difficult and will be discussed. The taxonomic characters of the identified species are illustrated using scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs. Four tenuipalpid species belonging to two genera were identified: Pentamerismus oregonensis McGregor, 1949, Pentamerismus taxi (Haller, 1877), Aegyptobia aletes (Pritchard & Baker, 1958), and Aegyptobia nr. cupressus Baker & Tuttle, 1972. Some of their morphological features and world distributions are presented.