Mangalaus - A new genus of mite discovered

The taxonomists of the ICAR Network Project on Insect Biosystematics, at the Division of Entomology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute have discovered a new mite christened as Mangalaus with a new species yet to be named. This eriophyid is one of the smallest of the arthropods of the size of 200 microns. This causes galls on the leaf called erineum on the plant “fragrant manjarack” or “Indian cherry” (Cordia dichotoma) (Fig. 1, 2). This mite has been collected from the farm of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi.

Mangalaus is strikingly distinct from mites hitherto known. The high profile LT-SEM studies reveal these unique characters in the micro morphological aspects (Figs.3-6). The world renowned acarologist Prof. James Amrine, West Virginia University, USA states “this mite has a eye-like ocelli and represents a new genus. He adds “the tibiae of legs I and II lack a seta, but all femora have a normal seta and tarsal setae, and it is sister to Notaceria”.

Dr. Ronald Ochoa of USDA comments “the round area, yes almost it does look like an eye...But as you know, there is no report of such structure in this mite family.”