Featured Bug

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Bindweed showing gall damage
Aceria malherbae (Photo courtesy USDA-ARS) Bindweed showing gall damage

Scientific Name:Aceria malherbae

Common Name:Bindweed gall mite

Type of Agent:Mite (Acari:Eriophyidae)

Native Distribution:Central and southern Europe, northern Africa

Original Source:Europe or Eurasia

Plant Species Attacked:Convolvulus arvensis, field bindweed

Life History:Aceria malherbae feeds on leaves and stem tips, inducing gall formation and leaf distortion. All life stages of the mite occur within the folded and distorted leaves. Adults are present on the plant from May to November. Aceria malherbae overwinters as an adult or nymph below ground on rhizome buds. Eggs are deposited within the galls. Several generations can be produced each growing season. Heavy mite infestations can result in reduced plant vigor and flower formation.

Insectary history:Bindweed gall mites were first received by the Insectary from Texas A & M University at Bushland, Texas, in 1998. Initially, the mites were reared on potted bindweed plants in the greenhouse. In the spring of 1999, the infested plants were transplanted to area bindweed infestations, where they were allowed to reproduce. In 2001, surveys determined that the mites had become established at the local sites. This year, mite populations had sufficient numbers to allow for redistribution to many Statewide bindweed infestations. It is anticipated that further releases of this biocontrol agent will result in suppression of targeted field bindweed.

To obtain more information and request a release of the bindweed gall mite, please contact:
Colorado Department of Agriculture
Biological Pest Control Section
750 37.8 Road
Palisade, CO 81526

Phone: (970)464-7916
Fax: (970)464-5791