Bee Mites : Acari : Parasitiformes : Mesostigmata : Parasitidae : Parasitellus
Parasitellus talparum (Oudemans, 1913)
Parasitus talparum Oudemans, 1913: 333.
Parasitellus talparum: Hyatt, 1980: 337, Figs 48-49 (his synonymy); Klimov, 1998: 18.
Parasitus favus Richards, 1976: 735, Figs 8-14; Richards and Richards, 1976: 1, syn. n.
Parasitus arcticus Karg, 1985: 533, Figs 3 (deutonymph only)
Material (show database records). 1 deutonymph - USA: Alaska, "upper Amsler river", ex Bombus, 11 May 1995, K. Ross, BMOC 04-0326-001; 6 deutonymphs - USA: Wyoming, Albany Co., Laramie, 1 Jun 1999, ex Bombus (Pyrobombus) flavifrons Cresson, 1863, S. Shaw & R. Nunamaker, BMOC 99-0624-001; 2 males, 2 deutonymphs - USA: Ohio, Franklin Co., Columbus, nest of Bombus (Fervidobombus) fervidus (Fabricius, 1798), 6 Jul 2002, J. Wenzel, BMOC 02-0706-001.
Bombus (Alpinobombus) hyperboreus Schönherr, 1809
Bombus (Alpinobombus) polaris Curtis, 1835
Bombus (Bombias) nevadensis Cresson, 1874
Bombus (Bombus) terricola Kirby, 1837 (as occidentalis)
Bombus (Cullumanobombus) rufocinctus Cresson, 1863
Bombus (Fervidobombus) fervidus (Fabricius, 1798) (as californicus)
Bombus (Psithyrus) fernaldae (Franklin, 1911)
Bombus (Psithyrus) insularis (Smith, 1861)
Bombus (Psithyrus) suckleyi Green, 1860
Bombus (Pyrobombus) bifarius Cresson, 1878
Bombus (Pyrobombus) flavifrons Cresson, 1863
Bombus (Pyrobombus) frigidus Smith, 1854
Bombus (Pyrobombus) huntii Greene, 1860
Bombus (Pyrobombus) lapponicus (Fabricius, 1793) (as sylvicola)
Bombus (Pyrobombus) melanopygus Nylander, 1848
Bombus (Pyrobombus) mixtus Cresson, 1878
Bombus (Pyrobombus) ternarius Say, 1837
Bombus (Pyrobombus) vagans Smith, 1854
Bombus (Subterraneobombus) appositus Cresson, 1878
(Karg, 1985; Richards, 1976; Richards and Richards, 1976)
Eurasia (only bumblebee hosts are listed):
Bombus (Bombus) albocinctus Smith
Bombus (Bombus) florilegus Panfilov, 1956
Bombus (Bombus) terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758)
Bombus (Megabombus) tichenkoi (Skorikov, 1925)
Bombus (Melanobombus) lapidarius (Linnaeus, 1758)
Bombus (Thoracobombus) pascuorum (Scopoli, 1763) (as agrorum (F.))
(Hyatt, 1980; Klimov, 1998; Micherdzinski, 1969)
Distribution (show map). USA (first record): Alaska, Wyoming, Ohio; Canada: Alberta, Northwest Territories; Greenland; British Isles; Sweden; Germany; Netherlands (type locality); Switzerland; former Czechoslovakia; Russia: Moskovskaya Oblast', Western and Eastern Siberia, Kuril Islands; Turkmenistan; China: Qinghai Prov. (Hyatt, 1980; Gu et al., 1987; Klimov, 1998; Micherdzinski, 1969; Richards, 1976; Richards and Richards, 1976; Tichomirov, 1977).
Biology. This species was originally described from a nest of the common mole, Talpa europea L., 1758 in the Netherlands. Numerous subsequent records indicate that this species is actually associated with different species of Bombus (Hyatt, 1980). The biology of Parsitellus talparum (=Parasitus favus) was studied by Richards and Richards (1976). In a bee nest, several generations of mites can be accomplished in a single season. Males copulate with females several times. Female lays 0-1 eggs in laboratory settings. Larvae hatch in 5 days and molt into protonymphs in six days. Protonymphs constantly die in cultures. The deutonymphs captured from bumblebee nests were able to survive longer in culture than any other developmental stages. Usually the sex ratio is biased toward females. The feeding preferences are not known, although feeding on nidicolous microarthropods is possible. Deutonymphs and females were observed to be cannibalistic. Deutonymphs usually attach themselves to hairs of metasoma and propodeum using their chelicerae. If their numbers are great, they will also crowd around the neck. Usually the mites occur on queens before the bee starts to rearrange nesting material in a prospective nest, and more rarely on workers or males. The number of deutonymphs increases with queen production. The highest number of Parasitus deutonymphs on a single bee queen can be up to 210, but usually they are less numerous. The mites are easily excited, and if disturbed will run over the entire body, but seldom leave the bee.
B. OConnor and P. Klimov ©
Created: April 24, 2012