Cheletophyes panamensis, female, ex nest of Xylocopa frontalis, Costa Rica, BMOC 03-1228-001 title=
Fig. 1. Cheletophyes panamensis, female, ex nest of Xylocopa frontalis, Costa Rica, BMOC 03-1228-001. Click to enlarge

Bee Mites : Acari : Acariformes : Trombidiformes : Cheyletidae

Genus Cheletophyes  Oudemans, 1914

Cheletophyes Oudemans, 1914: 101 (Type species Cheletophyes vitzthumi Oudemans, 1914 by monotypy); Baker, 1949: 287 (part.); Volgin, 1969: 160; Summers and Price, 1970: 40; Fain and Bochkov, 2001a: 61; Bochkov, 2009: 84.
Cheletes: Vitzthum, 1919: 2 (part.).
Cheyletus: Baker, 1949: 275 (part.); Volgin, 1969: 73 (part.); Summers and Price, 1970: 23 (part.).

Type speices Cheletophyes vitzthumi Oudemans, 1914 by monotypy.

Material (show database records).

General Description. The genus Cheletophyes is distributed in the Oriental, Afrotropical, and Neotropical regions, with 13 species obligatory associated with large carpenter bees, genus Xylocopa (several records from other hosts are probably accidental) (Fain and Bochkov, 2001a,b; Klimov at al., 2006). All stages of these mites are predators of different microarthropods feeding on provision in the bees' nests (Eickwort, 1994). Females of Cheletophyes disperse in mesosomal acarinaria of adult bees. According to the hypothesis of OConnor (1993), the relationships between Cheletophyes and their bee hosts are mutualistic, and the bees have developed mesosomal acarinaria to transfer these predacious mites controlling nest cleptoparisites. Our study (Klimov et al., 2006) suggests that despite the fact that the mites do not directly depend on resources provided by the bees, they are highly specific to their hosts. One species, Cheletophyes panamensis, was recorded for North America (Klompen et al., 1984). This species was found in the nest of its host only. Neotropical large carpenter bees lack an acarinarium. So far, phoretic specimens of Ch. panamensis were not discovered on their host's bodies despite our significant effort to find them.

Distribution (show map).

Species included.

Baker, E. W. 1949. A review of the mites of the family Cheyletidae in the United States National Museum. Proceedings of the United States National Museum.99: 267-320.
Bochkov, A. V. 2009. A review of mites of the parvorder Eleutherengona (Acariformes: Prostigmata) - permanent parasites of mammals. Acarina.Supplement No 1: 3-149.
Fain, A. & A. V. Bochkov. 2001. A review of some genera of cheyletid mites (Acari: Prostigmata) with descriptions of new species. Acarina.9: 47-95.
Klimov, P. B., A. V. Bochkov & B. M. Oconnor. 2006. Host specificity and multivariate diagnostics of cryptic species in predacious cheyletid mites of the genus Cheletophyes (Acari: Cheyletidae) associated with large carpenter bees. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society of London.87: 45-58.
Klompen, J. S. H., E. Mendez & F. S. Lukoschus. 1984. A new species of the genus Cheletophyes Oudemans, 1914 (Prostigmata: Cheyletidae) from the nest of a carpenter bee in Panama. Acarologia.25: 249-251.
OConnor, B. M. 1993. The mite community associated with Xylocopa latipes (Hymenoptera: Anthophoridae: Xylocopinae) with description of a new type of acarinarium. International Journal of Acarology.19: 159-166.
Oudemans, A. C. 1914. Acarologische Aanteekeningen LIV. Entomologische Berichten.4: 101-103.
Summers, F. M. & D. W. Price. 1970. Review of the mite family Cheyletidae. University of California Publications in Entomology.61: 1-153.
Vitzthum, H. G. 1918. Acarologische Beobachtungen. Zweite Reihe. Archiv für Naturgeschichte.84A: 1-40.
Volgin, V. I. 1969. Kleshchi semeystva Cheyletidae mirovoy fauny. Leningrad: Nauka. 432 [in Russian, English translation: Volgin V. I. 1987. Acarina of the Family Cheyletidae of the World. Amerind Publishing Co., New Delhi. 1-532]. pp.

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Cheletophyes panamensis, female, ex nest of Xylocopa frontalis, Costa Rica, BMOC 03-1228-001



B. OConnor and P. Klimov ©
Created: April 25, 2012
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