Bee Mites : Acari : Parasitiformes : Mesostigmata
Family Parasitidae Oudemans, 1901
Type genus Parasitus Latreille, 1795
Material (show database records).
General Description. This family is distributed worldwide and includes 426 species and 35 genera grouped in 2 subfamiles: Parasitinae and Pergamasinae (Beaulieu at al., 2011; Johnston, 1982; Tichomirov, 1977). Parasitid mites are essentially predatory and feed upon other microarthropods, including their eggs, and on nematodes. They live in moss, forest litter, soil, dung, rotting seaweed, decaying organic substances, caves, and nests of small mammals and insects. These mites disperse during the deutonymph stage, usually on insects of the orders Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. All species of the genus Parasitellus are obligatory associates of bumblebees (Bombus) in the Holarctic region. Several occasional records of different species of the genus Parasitus and Vulgarogamasus are known from bumblebee nests and honeybee hives in North America and Europe. Pergamasus crassipes (Linnaeus, 1758), Pergamasus diversus Halbert, 1915, Poecilochirus necrophori Vitzthum, 1930, Holoparasitus sp., and Eugamasus sp., were recorded from the honeybee, Apis mellifera L. in Europe and Iran (Chmielewski W. 1991; De Jong et al., 1982; Haragsim et al., 1987; Grobov, 1975, 1978; Kamali at al., 2001; Mosaddegh, 1997), but these records probably are also accidental.
Distribution (show map).
Genera found in association with bees.
Key to some genera of the family Parasitidae found on bees or bee nests|
deutonymphs and adults
|1|| Females with entire holodorsal shield. Setae of dorsal hexagon homogeneous (subfamily Pergamasinae). Idiosoma elongate, not rounded. Holodorsal shield of female not fused with ventral shield|| |
- ||Females with 2 dorsal shields, occasionally shields partially fused. Setae z5 may differ from other setae of dorsal hexagon. (subfamily Parasitinae)|| |
2(1)|| Opistogaster with more than 40 pairs of setae|| |
- ||Opistogaster with less than 30 pairs of setae|| |
3(2)|| Setae of dorsal hexagon almost similar in form. Base of male tritosternum never closely associated with genital orifice. (Deutonymphs of a single North American species associated with bees has biramous tectum) ...
- ||Setae of dorsal hexagon different in form, usually setae z5 stout and pilose and j5 and j6 simple. Base of male tritosternum closely associated with genital orifice. Tectum usually triramous|| |
B. OConnor and P. Klimov ©
Created: April 25, 2012