chokecherry finger gall mite

(Eriophyes emarginatae)

Conservation Status
finger gall of chokecherry finger gall mite
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Eriophyid mites (Eriophyes spp.) are so small that they are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. Unless a scanning electron microscope is available, a morphological description of an adult individual is useless. The mite is most easily identified by the shape of the gall it produces and the plant species on which it is found.

Chokecherry finger gall mite is a specialized plant feeder. In Minnesota it can be found on American plum, chokecherry, and European plum. In other areas it also infests bitter cherry, Klamath plum, and wild goose plum.

The pouch-type finger galls appear on the upper side of a leaf. They are solitary, though there are usually many galls on a single leaf. They are randomly scattered on the surface of the leaf blade.

The galls are variable in length, thicker at the tip than at the base (club shaped), and erect or leaning at an angle to the leaf surface. They are green to yellowish at first, often reddish near the base, eventually turning brown.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Tiny, almost microscopic

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  This is the only species that causes finger galls on the hosts listed above. It is not found on other plant species.  
     
 
Habitat and Hosts
 
 

American plum, chokecherry, European plum

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation per year. The first galls develop April to July.

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female overwinters in a crevice of a bud near the base of a branch. It emerges in the spring and seeks a newly developing leaf. As it feeds on the leaf, a chemical in its saliva causes the leaf cell to expand, forming a pouch. It then enters the pouch, lays 50 to 60 eggs, and dies. In late spring the eggs hatch, producing males and females that remain in the pouch throughout the summer.

Another eriophyid mite, Eriophyes prunidemissae, is normally found on the same branch. It overwinters in the buds at the tip and near the tip of the branch. It has two generations per year. The second generation invades the galls of the chokecherry finger gall mite. At the end of the season, when the gall splits open and releases the mites, Eriophyes prunidemissae outnumbers the chokecherry finger gall mite.

 
     
 

Food

 
 

In Minnesota, leaves of American plum, chokecherry, and European plum.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 29, 30.
 
  9/4/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Arachnida (arachnids)  
  Subclass Acari (mites and ticks)  
  Superorder Acariformes (mites)  
 

Order

Trombidiformes  
 

Suborder

Prostigmata  
  Infraorder Eupodina  
 

Superfamily

Eriophyoidea  
 

Family

Eriophyidae (gall and rust mites)  
 

Subfamily

Eriophyinae  
 

Tribe

Eriophyini  
 

Genus

Eriophyes  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Phytoptus emarginatae

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

bitter cherry gall mite

chokecherry finger gall mite

plum finger gall mite

Prunus finger gall mite

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Finger Galls

 
    finger gall of chokecherry finger gall mite   finger gall of chokecherry finger gall mite  
           

 

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Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this arachnid.

 
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  Mark Hager
7/2/2021

Location: 21 miles north of Grand Rapids.

 

 
  mhughes
6/9/2015

Location: Duluth

prolific infestation on one of five trees

 

 
  Izzaroo
6/4/2015

Location: Walker, MN - near Chippewa Nat Forest

We just discovered them today!

 

 
  Doug H.
5/13/2015

Location: Chokecherry bush in my back yard, Hopkins, MN

the bush appears to be covered with these galls.

 

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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