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Bindweed gall mite - Aceria calystegiae

By N A Martin (2017)

Classification

Phylum:
Arthropoda
Class:
Arachnida
Subclass:
Acari
Order:
Trombidiformes
Suborder:
Prostigmata
Superfamily:
Eriophyoidea
Family:
Eriophyidae
Subfamily:
Eriophyinae
Tribe:
Aceriini
Scientific Name:
Aceria calystegiae (Lamb, 1952)
  • Drawing of side view of bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). The adult mite is very tiny, 0.213-0.306 mm long. Image: Dave Manson © Published in Fauna of New Zealand 1984, vol. 5, fig. 133
    Drawing of side view of bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). The adult mite is very tiny, 0.213-0.306 mm long. Image: Dave Manson © Published in Fauna of New Zealand 1984, vol. 5, fig. 133
  • Leaves of Calystegia soldanella (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaves of Calystegia soldanella (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Common Names

Bindweed gall mite
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Synonyms

Vasates calystegiae Lamb, 1952
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Biostatus and Distribution

This endemic gall mite has been found in the North and South Islands of New Zealand on its host plants, Calystegia species and Convolvulus arvensis. Feeding by the mite induces pocket galls on young leaves.

Conservation status: Widespread, not threatened.

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Life Stages and Annual Cycle

This gall mite is very tiny. Adult mites are about 0.2-0.3 mm long. The adult mite is like a tiny white cow’s horn with two pairs of legs at the wide end of the horn. Adult female mites lay tiny spherical eggs. The larva that hatches from an egg looks like a tiny adult. The mite larva moults (changes skin) into a nymph. There is one nymphal stage that also looks like a small adult. The last juvenile stage moults into an adult mite. There are males and females.

Walking
The mite uses the legs for walking, but it can also hold on to the plant with the tip of its abdomen, which acts as a sucker.

Feeding and inducing the gall
The mites have pointed mouth parts that puncture the surface cells of young leaves and gall tissue from which they suck up the cell sap. During feeding, the mites may inject saliva into the plant. When mites feed on young expanding leaves, leaf cells in the area multiply causing a thickening and expansion of the leaf tissue, which forms an invagination. This expands to form a protuberance on the other side of the leaf. The sides of the invagination grow upwards and almost join, leaving a narrow opening to the gall. The mites shelter, feed and breed inside the gall. The gall protects the gall mites from predators and adverse weather.

Dispersal to new stems and new plants
When the plant grows new leaves, adult female mites disperse to these and their feeding induces the formation of new galls. It is presumed mites walk from the old galls to the new growths.

When this gall mite colonises new plants, it is unlikely that mites walk all the way. It is believed that most mites are dispersed by wind. Some species of mite climb to prominent places on plants and stand waiting for a gust of wind to take them away.

  • Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) showing the underside of pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) showing the underside of pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) showing the upper side of pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the pointed pink tip that surrounds the exit for the mites.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) showing the upper side of pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the pointed pink tip that surrounds the exit for the mites. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaf of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the pointed pink tip that surrounds the exit for the mites.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the pointed pink tip that surrounds the exit for the mites. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • A section through a pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia soldanella (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the cavity in which the mites live.  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    A section through a pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia soldanella (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the cavity in which the mites live. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • A section through a pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia soldanella (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the cavity in which many mites are living, tiny spherical eggs are also present.  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    A section through a pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia soldanella (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the cavity in which many mites are living, tiny spherical eggs are also present. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
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Recognition

This mite requires special procedures and taxonomic knowledge to identify specimens. However, its presence on a plant can be recognised by plant damage symptoms. This mite species is the only one known to induce pocket galls on leaves of Calystegia species and Convolvulus arvensis in New Zealand. Pocket galls on other plants are caused by other mite or insect species.

  • Leaves of Calystegia soldanella (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaves of Calystegia soldanella (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaf of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Natural Enemies

No natural enemies of this species of mite have been recorded, but predatory mites may feed on these mites.

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Host Plants

Bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), lives on native and adventive plant species in the bindweed family, Convolvulaceae; Calystegia species and Convolvulus arvensis. Mite feeding on young leaves induces pocket galls. High numbers of mites on young leaves result in many galls and distorted leaves.

Table: Host plants of the Bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Prostigmata: Eriophyidae) from Plant- SyNZ database (11 February 2017). The reliability score shows the quality of evidence for the host association (1-10, 10=high).
Common Name(s)Scientific NameFamilyReliability IndexBiostatus
 Calystegia marginata R.Br.Convolvulaceae10non-endemic
Greater bindweed, Pink bindweed, Hedge bindweed, Akapōhue, Nahinahi, Panahi, Panake, Pōhue, Pōhuehue, Pōhuhue, Pōpōhue, RauparahaCalystegia sepium (L.) R.Br.Convolvulaceae10naturalised
Great bindweed, Greater bindweedCalystegia silvatica (Kit.) Griseb.Convolvulaceae10naturalised
Shore bindweed, Panahi, Paraha, Pōhue, PoueCalystegia soldanella (L.) R.Br.Convolvulaceae10non-endemic
Climbing convolvulus, New Zealand bindweed, Pōuwhiwhi, Pōwhiwhi, Rarotawake (edible roots)Calystegia tuguriorum (G.Forst.) R.Br. ex Hook.f.Convolvulaceae10non-endemic
Field bindweedConvolvulus arvensis L.Convolvulaceae8naturalised
  • Leaf of Calystegia marginata (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), upper side of leaf.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia marginata (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), upper side of leaf. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaf of Calystegia marginata (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), underside of leaf.  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia marginata (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), underside of leaf. Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaves of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaves of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaves of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Leaves of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
  • Underside of leaf of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Underside of leaf of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaves of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
    Leaves of Calystegia tuguriorum (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Nicholas A. Martin
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Additional Information

Eriophyid gall mites belong to the super family Eryiophyoidea. These mites have several unusual features. For example, though most mites have four pairs of legs like spiders, Eriophyoid mites have only two pairs of legs. Many of these mites can induce host plants to form galls, some of which may be very complex. Some species of these mites can transmit plant viruses that may cause plant diseases and plant death.

This gall mite is named after a New Zealand scientist, Dr Kenneth Lamb, who studied gall forming mites and insects during the 1950s. He discovered many kinds of galls on native plants.

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Information Sources

Lamb KP 1960. A check list of New Zealand Plant Galls (Zoocecidia). Transactions of the Royal Society of New Zealand 88(1): 121-139.

Manson DCM 1984. Eriophyinae (Arachnida: Acari: Eriophyoidea). Fauna of New Zealand 5: 1-123.

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Acknowledgements

The New Zealand Plant & Food Research Institute Limited (Plant & Food Research) for permission to use photographs.

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Other Images

  • Pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the pink tip to the gall that surrounds the exit for the mites.  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the pink tip to the gall that surrounds the exit for the mites. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • A section through a pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the cavity in which the mites live and the erineum (hairy) growths on the outside of the gall.  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    A section through a pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the cavity in which the mites live and the erineum (hairy) growths on the outside of the gall. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • A section through a pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the cavity in which the mites live.  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    A section through a pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the cavity in which the mites live. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the pink tissue surrounding the exit.  Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
    Pocket gall on leaf of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae), note the pink tissue surrounding the exit. Image: Tim Holmes © Plant & Food Research
  • Leaves of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae).  Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
    Leaves of Calystegia sepium (Convolvulaceae) with pocket galls induced by the bindweed gall mite, Aceria calystegiae (Acari: Eriophyidae). Image: Nicholas A. Martin © Plant & Food Research
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Suggested Citation

Martin NA. 2017. Bindweed gall mite - Aceria calystegiae. Interesting Insects and other Invertebrates. New Zealand Arthropod Factsheet Series Number 72. http://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch.co.nz/Index.html. Date Accessed. ISSN 1179-643X.

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