maple spindle-gall mite

(Vasates aceriscrumena)

Conservation Status
maple spindle-gall mite
Photo by J Oakes
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

not listed

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Maple spindle-gall 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.

Maple spindle-gall 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. The galls are unsightly but the tree is otherwise undamaged.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Microscopic, about 1 500 to 1 125 long

 
     
 

Similar Species

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

Norway maple (Acer platanoides)

red maple (Acer rubrum var. rubrum)

silver maple (Acer saccharinum)

sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Spring to summer. Empty galls in fall.

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 30.
 
  7/31/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

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

Order

Trombidiformes  
 

Suborder

Prostigmata  
  Infraorder Eupodina  
 

Superfamily

Eriophyoidea  
 

Family

Eriophyidae (gall and rust mites)  
 

Subfamily

Phyllocoptinae  
 

Tribe

Phyllocoptini  
 

Genus

Vasates  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Phyllocoptes aceris-crumena

Vasates aceris-crumena

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

maple spindle-gall mite

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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J Oakes

 
    maple spindle-gall mite      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
  Maple Gall
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  Maple Gall  
     

 

slideshow

       
 
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Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  J Oakes
7/27/2021

Location: Beltrami MN, Polk County

maple spindle-gall mite

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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