A close look to the genus Graminaseius Chant and McMurtry (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in Turkey; description of two new species and re-description of Graminaseius graminis (Chant)


Abstract: Predatory mites of the family Phytoseiidae (Acari: Mesostigmata) are considered tobe one of the most important group in terms of their potential as biological control agents. Somespecies are available commercially to be used in biological control programs worldwide, whilethe exploitation of native populations is also of great importance. There is no available datawith regard to food habits and the biology of the genus Graminaseius Chant and McMurtry.However, the most commonly distributed species, G. graminis (Chant) was reported in citrusecosystems in some previous studies. It was also the only known species of this genus fromTurkey, so far. During the comprehensive surveys that were conducted to determine nativepopulations of phytoseiid mites, we found two new species of the genus Graminaseius inTurkey. The Graminaseius recebi sp. nov. and Graminaseius neograminis sp. nov. aredescribed and illustrated based on the material collected from East-Mediterranean and North-West (European part) regions of Turkey, respectively. The new species described here mightget misidentified as G. graminis in some previous studies. Therefore, the latter is also redescribedand illustrated to show differences between all these three species, based on thematerial collected from western Turkey (Aegean region). G. neograminis sp. nov. was found inassociation with thrips and mealybugs on a non-cultivated host plant. Therefore, it may be apromising candidate for biological control of abovementioned pests. Further efforts todetermine its food habits and biology are of great importance.

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