Morphological and molecular analyses of two closely related Neoseiulus species (Acari: Phytoseiidae)


Abstract: The predatory mite species Neoseiulus longispinosus (Evans) and N. womersleyi
(Schicha) (Phytoseiidae) are morphologically close. Although they can be separated by the
length of the dorsal seta S5, misidentifications may occur. The present study investigates
various strains of the two closely related species collected from Japan, Taiwan and Thailand,
using a combination of morphological and molecular data. The two species could be clearly
separated based on the length of seta S5 and the ratio of setae Z5/S5. We sequenced the 28S
region of nuclear ribosomal DNA to determine whether the strains represent different species. In a 28S tree, the examined strains formed separate clades with 100 % bootstrap values. We conclude that a combination of different methods is necessary to precisely distinguish these closely related taxa. A possible world distribution of these two species is also provided.

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