Synopsis top ↑
Volume 160 of Zoologica documents the first extensive study of the anatomy and fine structure of Brevipalpus mites (Tenuipalpidae), commonly termed false spider mites or flat mites.
They are widespread plant pests and hence of economic importance. Of the more than 200 described species of the genus Brevipalpus only three were identified as vectors of several destructive plant viruses since 1940, causing losses on a variety of crops with damages of tens of millions of dollars. The chapters of this monograph focus on the mouthparts (gnathosoma), digestive system, prosomal glands, and male and female reproductive organs of Brevipalpus. Remarks on the nervous and the tracheal system are also included. An introductory and a concluding chapter present a state-of-the-art report on the knowledge of the viruses transmitted by Brevipalpus, and their relationship to the mite vector. A number of striking peculiarities are revealed, which help to understand the path of these viruses through the mite. Then the complex stylet apparatus that pierces the plant tissue as well as the food channel and following digestive tract are described, through which viruses reach the almost lumen-less midgut. The prosomal glands with their ducts involved at least partly in virus transmission are also described in detail. This work sheds new light on the reproductive system of these mites, which includes – besides a very peculiar structural organization – the exceptional phenomenon of haploid parthenogenesis and sex manipulation by Cardinium bacteria.
This volume is of relevance to researchers working in the fields of plant parasitology, plant pest control or plant virology. It should also be of great interest to biologists studying arthropod structure, host-plant parasite interaction, or reproductive biology.