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Are Tetranychus macfarlanei Baker & Pritchard and Tetranychus malaysiensis Ehara (Acari: Tetranychidae) one species? Morphological and molecular evidences for synonymy between these two spider mite species and a note on invasiveness of T. macfarlanei on okra and eggplant in India

Mahran Zeity, Nagappa Srinivas, Chinnamade Channegowde Gowda


Study of morphological characters of Tetranychus macfarlanei Baker & Pritchard and Tetranychus malaysiensis Ehara revealed high similarity by comparing all the important characters in addition to the characters pointed out by Ehara to separate those two species. Molecular phylogeny of seven Indian populations of T. macfarlanei and one population of T. malaysiensis from Philippines along with few distantly related species of Tetranychus was attempted. High degree of similarity between these two species at mitochondrial COI gene (96%) as well as ITS2 (rDNA) (96–99%) region was evident. Based on both morphological features and molecular data, T. malaysiensis is proposed as a junior synonym of T. macfarlanei based on ICZN’s law of priority. Also more female characters are prompted in this study to distinctly discriminate T. macfarlanei from its most resembling species, Tetranychus ludeni Zacher. Tetranychus macfarlanei has emerged as a pest of several cultivated crop plants in India. 


Morphological, phylogeny, Karnataka, Malaysia, Eotetranychus


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An international journal of the Systematic and Applied Acarology Society

ISSN 1362-1971