Ctenocollectacarus longirostris, phoretic deutonymph, ex Ctenocolletes centralis, Australia, BMOC 86-0406-003
Fig. 1. Ctenocollectacarus longirostris, phoretic deutonymph, ex Ctenocolletes centralis, Australia, BMOC 86-0406-003 Click to enlarge

Bee Mites : Acari : Acariformes : Sarcoptiformes : Acaridae : Sancassania

Genus Sancassania (Ctenocolletacarus) Fain, 1984, stat.n.

Ctenocolletacarus Fain, 1984: 77 (type species Ctenocolletacarus longirostris; stated that resembles Sancassania, Lackerbaueria, and Paraceroglyphus; descriptions, host records, and key to HDNs of C. longirostris, C. brevirostris, and C. grandior; phoresy in acarinarium); Fain & Houston, 1986: 67 (description of feeding stages in C. longirostris, C. brevirostris); Houston, 1987: 459 (observations on biology and reproduction in host nests; transmission of mites during host copulation; SEM photograph of acarinarium); OConnor, 1988: 342 (stated that clearly derived from paraphyletic Sancassania; suggested co-speciation of mites and bees); Eickwort, 1994: 220 (listed in tables; short summary of biology); OConnor, 1994: 143 (mention); Klimov, 2000: 28 (placed in Rhizoglyphinae: Caloglyphini; included in key); OConnor, 2001: 79 (included in phylogeny, suggested to be part of Sancassania); Walter et al., 2002: 130 (listed in table, note on phoresy in acarinarium); Klimov & OConnor, 2008: 74 (mention of phoresy in acarinarium).

Type species Ctenocolletacarus longirostris Fain, 1984, by original designation

Biology. All stages of mites complete breeding cycle occurs in the hosts' sealed brood cells, except for the phoretic deutonymphs, which can leave the cells and disperse on their bee hosts. The deutonymphs are usually phoretic in specialized circular metasomal pouches on the lateral margins of metasomal terga 3 and 4 (acarinaria). Phoretic deutonymphs are found on 70-90% of four species of female bees. The mites and their hosts are univoltine. One or a few deutonymphs dismount from nesting females into each new blood cell and rapidly transform through non-mobile tritonymphs to males and females. Female mites oviposit on the ceiling of the cell during the host larva's early instars, producing hundreds of larvae and then protonymphs by the time the host larva has completed feeding. Large numbers of mites (nearly 300) develop in each host cell, with no obvious deleterious effects on the developing bee. Larvae and protonymphs aggregate on the host bee larva, possibly to avoid being ingested, and perhaps feeding only on pollen adhering to the lateral surfaces and mouthparts of the bee larva, probably this feeding activity helps the developing bee to keep its integument clean and pathogen free. The mites also convert the pasty feces to a firmer, drier state, which makes it less prone to fungal growth. Non-deutonymphal stages feed upon pollen, host larval feces, and an amorphous substance that may originate from the bee larva's surface or from its feces (after Houston, 1987).
Distribution (show map). Australia.
Hosts. Endemic Australian bees of the genus Ctenocolletes (Stenotritidae).
Taxonomic notes. We include the genus Ctenocolletacarus to Sancassania because it shares all its diagnostic characters, most importantly the anus shifted anteriorly from the hind edge of the body in females. It has clear synapomorphies suggesting its monophyly: the absence of the male para-anal suckers (as in Sancassania anomala), and the development of the rostrum, elongated sternum, and characteristic pattern on the idiosomal cuticle in deutonymphs. We recognize that giving a subgeneric rank to this group requires a phylogenetic analysis and may be, as such, subjective. Here our assignment reflects the need to demonstrate the presence of a well-defined, monophyletic group within Sancassania, which is taxonomically very heterogeneous and requires both taxonomic revision and phylogenetic analysis.

Species included
  1. Sancassania (Ctenocolletacarus) brevirostris Fain, 1984
  2. Sancassania (Ctenocolletacarus) grandior Fain, 1984
  3. Sancassania (Ctenocolletacarus) longirostris Fain, 1984

Key to species of Sancassania (Ctenocolletacarus)
phoretic deutonymphs

1 Idiosoma rounded anteriorly (rostrum short). Most of dorsal setae spiniform. Dorsal cuticle reticulate ... Sancassania (Ctenocolletacarus) brevirostris Fain, 1984
- Idiosoma distinctly attenuate anteriorly (rostrum long). Dorsal setae thin, filiform. Dorsum striate
... 2
2(1) Posterior suckers slightly wider (18-19) than anterior suckers (13-15) of attachment organ. Idiosoma 340-426 long ... Sancassania (Ctenocolletacarus) longirostris Fain, 1984
- Posterior suckers almost twice as wide (33-36) as anterior suckers (18-20) of attachment organ. Idiosoma 548-585 long ... Sancassania (Ctenocolletacarus) grandior Fain, 1984

Eickwort, G. C. 1994. Evolution and life-history patterns of mites associated with bees. In Mites: Ecological and Evolutionary Analyses of Life-History Patterns, ed. M. A. Houck, 218-251. New York: Chapman & Hall.
Fain, A. 1984. A new genus of mite (Acari: Acaridae) phoretic on bees (Ctenocolletes) in Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum.11: 77-86.
Fain, A. & T. F. Houston. 1986. Life cycle stages of mites of the genus Ctenocolletacarus Fain (Acari: Acaridae) associated with Ctenocolletes bees in Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum.13: 67-77.
Houston, T. F. 1987. The symbiosis of acarid mites, genus Ctenocolletacarus (Acarina: Acariformes), and stenotritid bees, genus Ctenocolletes (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Australian Journal of Zoology.35: 459-468.
Klimov, P. B. 2000. A review of acarid mites of the tribe Caloglyphini (Acaridae, Acariformes) with description of a new genus and species from Siberia and Russian Far East. Vestnik Zoologii.34: 27-35.
Klimov, P. B. & B. M. OConnor. 2008. Morphology, evolution, and host associations of bee-associated mites of the family Chaetodactylidae (Acari: Astigmata), with a monographic revision of North American taxa. Miscellaneous Publications Museum of Zoology University of Michigan.199: 1-243.
OConnor, B. M. 1988. Coevolution in astigmatid mite-bee associations. In African honey bees and bee mites, eds. G. R. Needham, R. E. Page, Jr., M. Delfinado-Baker & C. E. Bowman, 339-346. Chichester, New York, Brisbane etc.: Ellis Horwood Ltd & John Wiley & Son, .
OConnor, B. M. 1994. Life-history modifications in astigmatid mites. In Mites: ecological and evolutionary studies of life-history patterns. Chapman & Hall, New York., ed. M. A. Houck, 136-159. New York: Chapman & Hall.
OConnor, B. M. 2001. Historical ecology of the Acaridae (Acari): phylogenetic evidence for host and habitat shifts. In Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress, eds. R. B. Halliday, D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff, 76-82. Collingwood: CSIRO Publishing.
Walter, D. E., J. J. Beard, K. L. Walker & K. Sparks. 2002. Of mites and bees: A review of mite-bee associations in Australia and a revision of Raymentia Womersley (Acari : Mesostigmata : Laelapidae), with the description of two new species of mites from Lasioglossum (Parasphecodes) spp. (Hymenoptera : Halictidae). Australian Journal of Entomology.41: 128-148.



B. OConnor and P. Klimov ©
Created: Oct 05, 2011
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