Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Subclass Acari (Mites & ticks)
Order Trombidiformes (Trombid mites)
Family Eriophyidae (Gall mites)
Species Aceria macrorhyncha (Nalepa, 1889)
Gall height 6 mm.
This is a mite which produces small red pustule galls on the upper surface of Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) tree leaves. The females overwinter in crevices in the bark of the Sycamore tree, emerging in spring to feed on the new leaves, which is what causes the red raised spots. On the underside of the leaf and beneath each gall are tiny holes where the mites have laid their eggs in spring. The resulting larvae feed on the soft tissue of the leaves, which does not appear harmful to the tree.
Seen spring to autumn, and found wherever the host tree grows. Common and widespread. Native to Britain.
Local wood, South Staffordshire May 2020. © Peter Hillman.