Xue and Zhang (2008) described Disella rebeeveri from leaves of Kunzea ericoides collected in the Waitakere Range, Auckland, New Zealand. There have been no further reports on this species. Our recent study of newly collected specimens from Coprosma as well as old material preserved in the New Zealand Arthropod Collection (NZAC), Auckland reveal new distribution and host records for this species, which are reported here.
Disella rebeeveri Xue & Zhang, 2008
Material examined (all in NZAC): 10 females, from leaves of Coprosma robusta (Rubiaceae) with erineum, native forest, Auckland Botanic Gardens, Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand, 6 November 2014, coll. N.A. Martin (with Phyllocoptes coprosmae); 5 females, from leaves of Coprosma robusta with erineum, Alice Eaves Reserve, Auckland, New Zealand, 7 February 2015, coll. N.A. Martin (with Phyllocoptes coprosmae); 6 females, from leaves of Coprosma grandifolia with erineum, Alice Eaves Reserve, Auckland, New Zealand, 7 February 2015, coll. N.A. Martin (with Phyllocoptes coprosmae); 40 females and 5 males, fromunderside of young leaves of Schefflera digitata (Araliaceae), Southern enclosure, Maungatautari Mountain Scenic Reserve, Hamilton & Waikato region, New Zealand, 27 February 2005, coll. N.A. Martin; 7 females, from rough underside of leaves of Hebe stricta (Plantaginaceae), Incline Track, Waitakere Ranges, Auckland, New Zealand, 11 May 2002, col. N.A. Martin; 82 females, from rough underside of leaves of Hebe salicifolia(Plantaginaceae), Hinewai Reserve, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, 1 November 2001, coll. N.A. Martin.
Distribution: This species was known only from the Waitakere Range, Auckland (Xue & Zhang 2008). Its distribution now extends southward to Manurewa (Auckland), Hamilton and Waikato on the North Island, and the Banks Peninsula on the South Island.
Hosts: Xue and Zhang (2008) recorded only females of D. rebeeveri from curly leaves of K. ericoides(Myrtaceae). Here we add five new host plant species belonging to three different families for this species. On C. robusta and C. grandifolia (Rubiaceae), it was found with P. coprosmae, which is known to produce erineum (Martin 2010); we noted that D. rebeeveri was more numerous than P. coprosmae among hairs on leaves. On H. stricta and H. salicifolia (Plantaginaceae), D. rebeeveri was found on the rough underside of leaves. On S. digitata (Araliaceae), D. rebeeveri was found on the underside of young leaves and males were also collected for the first time along with females. Only 1% of eriophyoid species are found on more than one family of plants (Skoracka et al. 2010). However, the four host families of D. rebeeveri belong to four unrelated plant orders! So this species is among the most polyphagous species in the superfamily Eriophyoidea.