maple spindle-gall mite

(Vasates aceriscrumena)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

 

No Image Available

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Season

Spring to summer. Empty galls in fall.

Hosts

Norway maple (Acer platanoides)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

silver maple (Acer saccharinum)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

Size

Microscopic, about 1 500 to 1 125 long

 

Identification

This mite is about 1 500 to 1 125 long and invisible to the naked eye. Under a microscope it appears spindle-shaped and white, with four legs near the front of the body.

This mite is most easily identified by the shape of the gall it produces and the plant species on which it is found. It is found exclusively on silver maple, red maple, sugar maple, and Norway Maple. The galls first appear in late spring. They are solitary, though there are usually many galls on a single leaf. They stand erect on the upper leaf surface. They are about 1 5 in height, spindle-shaped, narrow, pointed at the tip, and slightly wider in the middle than at the ends. They are greenish-white when they first appear, turning pinkish or red, and then finally black.

 
Similar
Species

This is the only mite that causes spindle-shaped galls on these host species. It is not found on other plant species.


Life Cycle

The adult overwinters in a crevice of the trunk or a branch. As leaf buds begin to swell in the spring the female emerges and begins feeding on a leaf bud. This causes the leaf to produce excess cells in the shape of a hollow spindle that rises above and stands erect on the leaf surface. The female then enters the hollow gall and deposits eggs. When the eggs hatch the young feed on the interior of the gall. In the summer the gall dries out. In fall the gall splits open. The adult emerges and searches for a site to overwinter.

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7.

Comments

Damage
The galls are unsightly but the tree is otherwise undamaged.


Taxonomy

Order:

Trombidiformes

 

Suborder:

Prostigmata

 

No Rank:

Eupodina

 

Superfamily:

Eriophyoidea

 

Family:

Eriophyidae (gall mites)

 

Subfamily:

Phyllocoptinae

 

Tribe:

Phyllocoptini

 
Synonyms

Phyllocoptes aceris-crumena

Vasates aceris-crumena

 
Common
Names

maple spindle-gall mite


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this arachnid.

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
       
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  Maple Gall
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Maple Gall  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this arachnid.

     
     

Other Videos

 
     

 

Camcorder

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2017 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.