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As bamboo commerce and cultivation has expanded throughout the world, so too have the insect and mite residents of bamboo. Some of the most troubling residents of bamboo are the bamboo mites, a number of mite species, which feed on bamboo potentially lowering its aesthetic and economic value. A wide variety of mites occur on bamboo. Forty-five species of mites from 23 genera and 9 families were collected from moso bamboo in Fujian, China (Lin et al, 2000). Of most concern in the production of bamboo are mites from the families Tetranychidae, Eriophyidae, and Tarsonemidae.

The bamboo spider mites in the genus Schizotetranychus have been implicated as the most damaging mites in bamboo production. Schizotetranychids are found worldwide, including Asia, Europe, and America (Banks and Tuttle, 1994; Ostoja-Starzewski, 2000; Flechtmann, 1995). In the U.S., mites of bamboo are thought to be Stigmaeopsis (Schizotetranychus) celarius. First described as Stigmeopsis celarius by Banks in 1917, it was renamed Schizotetranychus celarius by McGregor in 1950 (Baker and Tuttle, 1994) but has lately been renamed in genus Stigmeaopsis again. S. celarius is actually a complex of mites. These mites have been further delineated as separate species; S. celarius Banks, S. miscanthus Saito, and S. longus Saito (Saito, 1990). Baker and Tuttle (1994) list the distribution of S. celarius as California, Florida, and Georgia. S. longus, previously known as the long setal form of S. celarius, is the species of bamboo mite isolated from two sites in Oregon (Pratt and Croft, 1999). Schizotetranychus longus Saito was originally described from specimens collected from Sasa senanensis (Franch. et Sav.) on the island of Hokkaido in Japan (Saito, 1990a). Bamboo mites have also been reported from Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Louisiana.


Last modified - 7/20/05


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