Redescription of an early-derivative mite, Pentasetacus araucariae (Eriophyoidea, Phytoptidae), and new hypotheses on the eriophyoid reproductive anatomy.

Chetverikov, P., Beaulieu, F., Beliavskaia, A.Y., Rautian, M.S., and Sukhareva, S.I. (2014). "Redescription of an early-derivative mite, Pentasetacus araucariae (Eriophyoidea, Phytoptidae), and new hypotheses on the eriophyoid reproductive anatomy.", Experimental and Applied Acarology, 63(2), pp. 123-155. doi : 10.1007/s10493-014-9774-2  Access to full text

Abstract

A unique set of plesiomorphic characters, and its association with an ancient gymnosperm, Araucaria araucana, have made Pentasetacus araucariae a putative relict of a lineage of gymnosperm-associated mites, itself possibly basal to all extant eriophyoids. However, the suboptimal description of this species is impeding morphological comparisons with other species, which are fundamental to eriophyoid systematics. Herein, we designate a female lectotype from syntype specimens and use additional non-type material to redescribe P. araucariae based on external and internal anatomy using different microscopic and 3D reconstruction techniques. Contrarily to statements in the literature, P. araucariae has undivided empodia in all instars, short spermathecal tubes, and large, globose spermathecae in females, as well as rudimentary genital fovea in immatures. In addition, males of P. araucariae were shown to have genitalic attributes similar to a species of Trisetacus studied in parallel, including two reservoir-like structures, which may represent parts of the genital chamber and of the ductus ejaculatorius, respectively, as well as paired testes and ducti deferentes. This is contrary to previous, limited knowledge on eriophyoids indicating that they possess a single testis. Although their short spermathecal tubes weaken the cladistic relationship between P. araucariae (Pentasetacinae) and conifer-associated Nalepellinae (e.g. Trisetacus) having long tubes, the structural similarities in male genitalia may reinforce it.

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