Pyemotes tritici (Lagrèze-Fossat and Montané, 1851). Photograph by Eric Erbe; digital colorization by Chris Pooley. Identification by Ronald Ochoa.  title=
Fig. 1. Pyemotes tritici (Lagrèze-Fossat and Montané, 1851). Photograph by Eric Erbe; digital colorization by Chris Pooley. Identification by Ronald Ochoa. . Click to enlarge

Bee Mites : Acari : Acariformes : Trombidiformes

Family Pyemotidae Oudemans, 1937 (1897)

Pediculoididae Berlese, 1897: 1-65 (type genus Pediculoides Targioni-Tozzetti, 1878 = Pyemotes Amerling, 1861)
Pyemotidae Oudemans, 1937: 2837; Krczal, 1957: 431

Type genus Pyemotes Amerling, 1861

Material (show database records).

General Description. This family includes three genera according to Lindquist (1986), two genera with 25 species according to Kethley (1982), and one genus and 24 species according to Zhang et al., 2011. One described species is known from the late Eocene (Khaustov and Perkovsky 2010). Adult females of Pyemotidae are parasites of all developmental stages of holometabolous insects, especially subcortical beetles and stored product insects. When the female sucks the haemolymph of the host her posterior opisthosoma becomes greatly swollen because of developing eggs (physogastric female). Eggs hatch within the female, and adults are the only developmental stage in the family. Adult males emerge first, pierce the swollen opisthosoma with their mouthparts and remain near the opening. Males copulate with females as the latter emerge from the mother's body. The copulation triggers searching behavior in females, which immediately leave to attack a suitable host.
The genus Pyemotes Amerling, was recorded parasitizing bees' larvae, pupae, and, raraely, adults.


Notes. The family-group name Pediculoididae was proposed by Berlese (1897) for Pediculoides Targioni-Tozzetti, 1878. When it was realized that this genus is a junior synonym of Pyemotes Amerling, 1861, a new family name, Pyemotidae, was proposed (Oudemans, 1937). Although ICZN treats family- and genus-group names independently (i.e., synonymy of a type genus does not affect the validity of the corresponding family-group name), article 40.2 stipulates that substitute family-group names proposed before 1961 is to be maintained if it is in prevailing usage (ICZN, 1999). This is the case for Pyemotidae. The appropriate citation for this family name is Pyemotidae Oudemans, 1937 (1897), see recommendation 40A (ICZN, 1999).

Distribution (show map).

genera associated with bees.

Amerling, C. 1861. Naturökonomie der von ihm beobachteten Milben, insbesondere der Trombidieen. Sitzungsberichte Der Königlich Böhmischen Gesellschaft Der Wissenschaften In Prague.2: 54-56.
Cross, E. A., J. C. Moser & G. Rack. 1981. Some new forms of Pyemotes (Acarina: Pyemotidae) from forest insects, with remarks on polymorphism. International Journal of Acarology.7: 179-196.
Cross, E. A. & J. S. Moser. 1975. A new, dimorphic species of Pyemotes and a key to previously-described forms (Acarina: Tarsonemoidea). Annals of the Entomological Society of America.68: 723-732.
ICZN. 1999. International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Fourth Edition. The International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature. i-xxix,1-306 pp.
Kethley, J. B. 1982. Prostigmata. In Synopsis and Classification of Living Organisms, ed. S. P. Parker, 117-145. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Khaustov, A. A. & E. E. Perkovsky. 2010. The first fossil record of mites of the family Pyemotidae (Acari: Heterostigmata), with description of a new species of the genus Pyemotes from Rovno amber. Paleontological Journal.44: 418-421.
Krczal, H. 1957. Sytstematik und Ökologie der Pyemotiden. In Sytstematik und Ökologie Mitteleuropäischer Acarina. 1(1). ed. H.-J. Stammer, 385-823. Leipzig: Akademissche Verlaggesellschaft.
Krombein, K. V. 1967. Trap-nesting wasps and bees: life histories, nests, and associates. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian press. 570 pp.
Lindquist, E. E. 1986. The world genera of Tarsonemidae (Acari: Heterostigmata): A morphological, phylogenetic, and systematic revision, with a reclassification of family-group taxa in the Heterostigmata. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada.136: 1-517.
Menezes, C., A. Coletto-Silva, G. S. Gazeta & W. E. Kerr. 2009. Infestation by Pyemotes tritici (Acari, Pyemotidae) caused death of stingless bee colonies (Hymenoptera: Meliponina). Genetics and Molecular Research.8: 630-634.
Newport, G. 1850. Further observations on the habits of Monodontomerus; with some account of a new Acarus, Heteropus ventricosus, a parasite in the nests of Anthophora retusa. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London.2: 70-71.
Oudemans, A. C. 1936. Neues über Pediculoides Targ. Tozz. 1878 In Festschrift zum 60. geburtstage von professor dr. Embrik Strand. Ordinarius für Zoologie und Direktor des Systematisch-Zoologischen Instituts und der Hydrobiologischen Station der Universität Lettlands, Riga; Dr. rer. nat. h. c., M.A.N., F.R.E.S., F.L.S., F.Z.S., etc. Vol. 1, ed. E. Strand, 391-404. Riga: Izdevniecība "Latvija".
Oudemans, A. C. 1937. Kritisch historich overzicht der acarologie door Dr. A. C. Oudemans. Derde Gedeelte 1805-1850, Band G, Algemeen register. Leiden: E. J. Brill. 2737-3379 pp.
Zhang, Z. Q. 2011. Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa. 1-237.

Image Gallery
Pyemotes tritici (Lagrèze-Fossat and Montané, 1851). Photograph by Eric Erbe; digital colorization by Chris Pooley. Identification by Ronald Ochoa. 
Pyemotes tritici
Physogastric females of the mite Pyemotes sp. (Pyemotidae) parasitizing pupa of the bee Hoplitis albifrons argentifrons (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) from Colorado
mites on bee
Physogastric female of the mite Pyemotes sp. ex Hoplitis sp. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), USA: Colorado
Pyemotes sp



B. OConnor and P. Klimov ©
Created: May 01, 2012
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