Mite-Plant Associations from the Eocene of Southern Australia

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Science  05 Apr 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5002, pp. 99-101
DOI: 10.1126/science.252.5002.99


Acarodomatia or "mite houses" are located on leaves of many present-day angiosperms and are inhabited by mites that may maintain leaf hygiene. Eocene deposits in southern Australia have yielded acarodomatia on fossil leaves of Elaeocarpaceae and Lauraceae and also contain oribatid mites with close affinities to those that inhabit the acarodomatia of the closest living relatives of the fossil plant taxa. The data indicate that mite-plant associations may have been widespread in southern Australia 40 million years ago.

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