Skip to content

A galling mite!

 

Eriophyes tiliae galls
Eriophyes tiliae galls

It must be galling to be covered in these!  Sorry for the schoolboy pun but they do not look very attractive do they?!  These so-called nail galls are caused by a very tiny mite in the Family Eriophyidae. Eriophyid mites are only about 0.2 mm long and up to 200 of them can be living and feeding in one of these galls.  They are so small that they can feed on a single plant epidermal cell for hours or even days (1).   Eriophyes tilae is the species which causes these nail galls on lime trees (Tilia sp.) but there are a number of different subspecies which are difficult to tell apart.

The galls are themselves are induced by a chemical reaction caused by the feeding of the mites, and they provide both a source of food and protection for the mites. When I looked closely at one of these photographs, after I had taken it and opened it on the computer, I noticed that there was a tiny yellow-green bug (perhaps a plant-hopper nymph) lurking amongst the base of the nail galls (see below).  This little insect is however, much bigger than an eriophyid (or eriophioid as some people say!) mite!

Eriophyes tiliae gall with planthopper (?)  nymph.
Eriophyes tiliae gall with planthopper (?) nymph.

After I has starting writing this article, and as is often the case, I found another excellent article on WordPress on the same topic!  (2)

1) Eriophyoid Mites: Their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. Edited by E.E. Lindquist, J. Bruin, M.W. Sabelis

2) Galls on Campus 4: Mite galls on limes. http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/whiteknightsbiodiversity/2011/08/02/galls-on-campus-4-mite-galls-on-limes

 

 

rcannon992 View All

I am a retired entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Jonathan Pomroy

Wildlife & Landscape Artist

the glyptodon

Stories of natural history

spineless

Research blog of Renee Rossini

Notes on a Spanish Valley

Award-winning blog - Living in rural Andalucia

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

walter sanford's photoblog

Showcasing some of my digital photography and videography.

Katatrepsis

Science, skepticism and dragonflies

Paths Unwritten

Lost Cities. Forgotten Spaces. Curious Places.

Q13 FOX News

Seattle and Western Washington's source for breaking news, weather, and sports. Home of Washington’s Most Wanted and the Seattle Seahawks.

Spanish Linguist

a linguist writes about Spanish

Ray Cannon's nature notes

Every picture tells a story

Too Lazy To Weed

The not so ordinary wildlife of an ordinary (but scruffy) garden

Nature etc.

Books, birds and tales from the wild

Juha Lappalainen photography

The way I see the world around me...

Wandering with Butterflies

and other Lepidoptera

Andrew Szopa-Comley

Exploring the natural world.

%d bloggers like this: