Bee Mites : Acari : Parasitiformes : Mesostigmata : Ascidae : Proctolaelaps
Proctolaelaps pygmaeus (Müller, 1859)
Gamasus pygmaeus Müller, 1859: 30.
Proctolaelaps pygmaeus: Karg, 1971: 242, Figs 257b, 257h, 258l, 263b; Bregetova, 1977: 213, Fig. 135; Halliday et al., 1998: 37, Fig. 29 (their synonymy)
Identification. See key to species here.
Distribution. USA; Canada; localities outside North America include Palaearctic, Oriental, Afrotropic, Neotropic, and Australian regions (Casanueva et al., 1994; Bregetova, 1977; Haragsim et al., 1978; Karg, 1971; Raut and Bhattacharya, 1999; Westerboer, 1963).
Biology. Proctolaelaps pygmaeus was collected in a very wide range of habitats, including soil, stored food, bulbs, laboratory insect cultures, plant roots, decomposing plant material, under bark, in subterranean nests of small mammals, birds and in beehives. It may be predatory on small arthropods, but is also a fungivore, and unlike most ascid mites, it is able to ingest solid matter. There is circumstantial evidence that it can attack humans and that the results can be severe enough to cause extensive papular dermatosis (Halliday et al., 1998; Haragsim et al., 1978). In North America, this mite has not been found on bees or in bee nests.
B. OConnor and P. Klimov ©
Created: April 17, 2012