Systematic & Applied Acarology Special Publications
ISSN 1461-0183
An international journal and rapid publication of the Systematic and Applied Acarology Society

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No. 15 (28 Feb. 2003): 1-10                                           Accepted: 18 Feb. 2003

The genus Gamasellodes (Acari: Mesostigmata: Ascidae): New Australian and North American species

DAVID EVANS WALTER
Department of Zoology & Entomology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 Australia
E-mail: D.Walter@mailbox.uq.edu.au

Abstract

Mites of the genus Gamasellodes are among the smallest of Mesostigmata, but are of more general interest because of their potential as biocontrol agents of soil-root pests and because their lineage acquired a haplo-diploid genetic system (arrhenotoky) independently of other better known Mesostigmata (e.g. Macrochelidae, Laelapidae). Herein, I describe three new species of Gamasellodes: G. ericae n. sp. from the canopy of a subtropical rainforest in Australia; G. claudiae n. sp. from a desert woodland in the USA, and G. adrianae n. sp. from subtropical rainforest floor soil and litter in Australia. Arrhenotoky was experimentally demonstrated in the latter two species, and G. adrianae n. sp. is currently under investigation for the presence of intracellular symbionts. A key to the world species is presented.

Key words: mites, rainforest soils, arrhenotoky, biocontrol, rainforest canopy

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Papers published in Systematic and Applied Acarology Special Publications are abstracted in Zoological Record, New Entomological Taxa, and CAB Abstracts (e.g. Review of Agricultural Entomology , Review of Medical and Veterinary Entomology and Biocontrol News and Information).

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