Bee Mites : Acari : Parasitiformes : Mesostigmata : Ascidae : Blattisocius
Blattisocius tarsalis (Berlese, 1918)
Lasioseius (Lasioseius) tarsalis Berlese, 1918: 134.
Melichares (Blattisocius) tarsalis: Evans, 1958: 209, Figs 48-49.
Blattisocius tarsalis: Weserboer and Berhard, 1963; Karg, 1971: 191, Figs 205a, 209a; Bregetova, 1977: 226, Fig. 149.
Distribution. Nearctic (including the United States and Canada), Palaearctic (Italy is the type locality), Oriental, and Australian regions (Berlese, 1918; Bhattacharyya and Sanyal, 2002; Karg, 1971)
Biology. This species commonly occurs is synanthropic habitats (hay, stored products). In Western Australia, it was found on larvae and pupae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella (Linnaeus, 1758) in beehive (Halliday et al., 1998); Crozier (1989) reports it from honey bee hives in Canada. In North America, it was also recorded from cultures of various stored product insects: Sitotroga cerealella(Olivier, 1789) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), Tineola biselliella (Hummel, 1823) (Lepidoptera: Tineidae), Ephestia elutella (Hübner, 1796) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae); Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val, 1863, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst, 1797) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae), Attagenus piceus Latreille, 1804 (Coleoptera: Dermestidae). It was shown that Blattisocius tarsalis could control the size of the Mediterranean Flour Moth (Ephestia kuehniella Zeller, 1879) populations in specific conditions (depth of grain); the mites consumed the insect eggs and were phoretic upon the adult moths. Blattisocius tarsalis may be a parasitic species, Treat (1975) noticed attacks of the female mites on full grown larvae of the moth Idia aemula (Hübner, 1813) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). He also lists this species of moth, as well as Apamea devastator Brace, 1819 (Noctuidae) and Aglossa costiferalis (Walker, 1866) (Pyralidae) as phoretic hosts for Blattisocius tarsalis in the United States. The mite life span from egg to egg is approximately ten days.
B. OConnor and P. Klimov ©
Created: April 17, 2012