Bee Mites : Acari : Parasitiformes : Mesostigmata : Macrochelidae
Genus Trigonholaspis Vitzthum, 1930
Trigonholaspis Vitzthum, 1930: 300 (Type species Trigonholaspis salti Vitzthum, 1930 by original designation); Vitzthum in Salt, 1929: 447 (nom. nud., notes on biology); Turk, 1948: 83 (mention); Baker & Wharton, 1952: 69 (mention); Krantz, 1962: 161 (part.); Flechtmann & Camargo, 1979: 315 (mention); Eickwort, 1988: 329 (part., listed in table); Krantz, 1998: 105.
Grafia Krantz, 1962: 163 (Type species Trigonholaspis trigonarum Vitzthum, 1930 by original designation); Eickwort, 1988: 329 (listed in table). Synonymyzed by Krantz, 1998.
Type speices Trigonholaspis salti Vitzthum, 1930 by original designation
Material (show database records).
General Description. This genus includes four named species that inhabit nests of Trigona amalthea (Apidae: Meliponini) in Columbia (Vitzthum, 1930). Krantz (1998) reported five additional undescribed species from Brazil and Panama. We have seen an undescribed species from a nest of Lestrimelitta limao (Smith) from Panama. Individuals of this bee species rob nests of other bees, especially species of the genera Plebeia, Nannotrigona, more rarely Melipona, Scaptotrigona, and Trigona (Michener, 2000). The biology is almost unknown. Salt (1929) reported his observations onTrigonholaspis associated with Trigona amalthea (probably more than one species): "Mites are present on the comb in large numbers, as many as five or six together on the top of a single cell. In one or two cases I have seen these mites inside closed cells. On breaking open one cell in particular I found a bee pupa, its eyes only faintly colored, with a brown mite attached to it under the thorax apparently to the left middle leg; the mite was conspicuous as soon as the cell was opened. Mites are only rarely to be found on the pollen-and honey-pots, but on the comb are very numerous."
Description. Setae J1, J2, J3 present; anterior dorsum with well-developed "hump" (Krantz, 1998).
Hosts. Meliponine bees (Apidae: Meliponini).
Identification. See key here.
Key to species of the genus Trigonholaspis
|1||Dorsal shield margin not undulate. Dorsum without blunt cylindrical setae. Medial preanal setae placed approximately at same distance from anterior and posterior preanal seta|| |
- ||Dorsal shield margin undulate. Dorsum with blunt cylindrical setae. Medial preanal setae shifted anteriorly, distance between it and transverse level of anterior setae shorter than distance between it and transverse level of posterior preanal seta|| |
2(1)|| Shortest distance between anterior and posterior edges of sternal shield more than twice as short as diameter of coxa II. Setae of sternal, metasternal and epigynial (ST1-5) shields distinctly longer than anus. Many dorsal setae slightly inflated at bases and with rounded membranous end ... Trigonholaspis sp. |
- ||Shortest distance between anterior and posterior edges of sternal shield approximately equal to diameter of coxa II. Setae of sternal, metasternal and epigynial (ST1-5) shields distinctly shorter than anus. Dorsal setae (except for J1) short, filiform ... Trigonholaspis salti|
3(1)|| Epigynial shield 3-lobed posteriorly, with ST5 placed distinctly mediad from lateral extremities of the shield. ... Trigonholaspis columbiana|
- ||Epigynial shield not 3-lobed posteriorly (if lateral lobes present then small, not reaching posterior level of epigynial shield), with ST5 placed on or close to its lateral margin|| |
4(3)|| Dorsal shield truncate posteriorly. Setae on anterior margin of dorsal shield filiform; setae on posterior margin of dorsal shield not reaching base of subsequent setae. Preanal setae short, not reaching bases of subsequent setae ... Trigonholaspis trigonarum |
- ||Dorsal shield smoothly rounded posteriorly. Setae on anterior margin of dorsal shield inflated, with distinct bulb-like bases; setae on posterior margin of dorsal shield reaching bases of subsequent setae. Preanal setae reaching bases of subsequent seta ... Trigonholaspis amaltheae |
B. OConnor and P. Klimov ©
Created: April 23, 2012