Aceria anthocoptes

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Aceria anthocoptes
Aceria anthocoptes magnified 1,400×
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Family: Eriophyidae
Genus: Aceria
A. anthocoptes
Binomial name
Aceria anthocoptes

Aceria anthocoptes, also known as the russet mite,[1] rust mite,[2] thistle mite or the Canada thistle mite,[3] is a species of mite that belongs to the family Eriophyidae. It was first described by Alfred Nalepa in 1892.

Aceria anthocoptes can be found on Cirsium arvense, the Canada thistle, and is a good potential biological pest control agent of this invasive weed.[1]


Aceria anthocoptes is considered to be a good potential biological control agent for the invasive weed Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Female specimens have a somewhat fusiform shape, and range in colour. Depending upon the stage of development, both nymphs and adults can appear white, tan, pink, or yellow.[4] They are approximately 170 μm long and 65 μm wide, and are thus almost invisible to the naked eye.[5] Chelicerae are about 20 μm long, and are almost straight.[1][5]


Aceria anthocoptes is a 'free-living' eriophyid. Because of its life history and its morphology, this mite is considered to be a vagrant species.[6]

This mite can be found in a number of European countries and in the United States.[1] As of 2001, it is known to exist in 21 countries.[6] It is the only species of eriophyid mite that has been found on Cirsium arvense throughout the world.[6]

In the United States[edit]

This species is found in the following states:[7]

Behavior and life cycle[edit]

These mites produce multiple generations each year, and probably overwinter on root or the root buds.[4]

This mite normally spends the winter as fertilized female adults, remaining under bud scales of the thistle. They emerge in the spring.[5] They continuously reproduce during times other than winter, creating a new generation every two to three weeks.[5] Aceria anthocoptes mite feeds by sucking the contents of the leaf cells.[4]

Use as a biological control agent[edit]

Aceria anthocoptes is considered to be a good potential biological control agent for Cirsium arvense, the Canada thistle. It damages both the epidermal cells and deeper mesophyll layers, on both the upper and lower surfaces of this invasive weed. The result is visible deformation and folding of the leaf blade, with a curling of the leaf edges. The leaves become russeted and bronzed, and gradually dry out.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Biljana D. Magud; Ljubiša Ž. Stanisavljević; Radmila U. Petanović (2007). "Morphological variation in different populations of Aceria anthocoptes (Acari: Eriophyoidea) associated with the Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense, in Serbia". Experimental and Applied Acarology. 42 (3): 173–183. doi:10.1007/s10493-007-9085-y. PMID 17611806.
  2. ^ "The rust mite (Aceria anthocoptes)". Archived from the original on May 27, 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  3. ^ Richard Hansen (2006). "Biology of the Canada thistle mite, Aceria anthocoptes (Acari: Eriophyidae), in Northern Colorado". Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting.
  4. ^ a b c Rachel Winston, Rich Hansen, Mark Schwarzlander, Eric Coombs, Carol Bell Randall, Rodney Lym (2008), Biology and Biological Control of Exotic True Thistles Archived July 18, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, USDA Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team
  5. ^ a b c d Ryan S. Davis (October 2010). "Eriophyid Mites: bud, blister, gall, and rust mites" (PDF). Utah Pests Fact Sheet. Utah State University Extension and Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d Dragana Rancic; Branka Stevanovic; Radmila Petanović; Biljana Magud; Ivo Tosevski; André Gassmann (2006). "Anatomical injury induced by the eriophyid mite Aceria anthocoptes on the leaves of Cirsium arvense". Experimental and Applied Acarology. 38 (4): 243–253. doi:10.1007/s10493-006-0013-3. PMID 16612668.
  7. ^ L. Smith; E. de Lillo; J. W. Amrine Jr. (2010). "Effectiveness of eriophyid mites for biological control of weedy plants and challenges for future research". Experimental and Applied Acarology. 51 (1–3): 115–149. doi:10.1007/s10493-009-9299-2. PMID 19760101. Also included in Edward A. Ueckermann, ed. (2010). Eriophyoid Mites: Progress And Prognoses. ISBN 978-90-481-9561-9.

Further reading[edit]

  • A. Nalepa (1892). "Les acarocécidies de Lorraine (Suite)". Feuille. 3 (in French). 22 (258): 12.
  • R. Ochoa; E. F. Erbe; W. P. Wergin; C. Frye; J. Lydon (2001). "The presence of Aceria anthocoptes (Nalepa) (Acari: Eriophyidae) on Cirsium species in the United States". International Journal of Acarology. 27 (3): 179–187. doi:10.1080/01647950108684251.

External links[edit]