No. 15 (28 Feb. 2003): 1-10
Accepted: 18 Feb. 2003
The genus Gamasellodes (Acari:
Mesostigmata: Ascidae): New Australian and North
DAVID EVANS WALTER
Department of Zoology &
Entomology, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072 Australia
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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