Androlaelaps

 

HARMFUL | NOT HARMFUL | UNCERTAIN

mostly neutral; feeds on small arthropods in bee nests

Name and classification

Androlaelaps Berlese, 1903

Taxonomy
Superorder Parasitiformes » Order Mesostigmata » Suborder Monogynaspida » Hyporder Dermanyssiae » Family Laelapidae » Genus Androlaelaps

Type species
Laelaps (Iphis) hermaphrodita Berlese, 1887

Diagnosis

Adult: Genu IV with 10 setae (posterolateral setae pl1 present) (Figs. 2, 7). Pilus dentilis long and slender or inflated basally (Figs. 2, 8, 9,10). Chelicera of male strongly modified, fixed and movable digits not chelate (Fig. 11).

Species identification

This is a large genus that needs a revision. Four species have been recorded from honey bees and bumble bees (see below) and other habitats. Three of these species can be identified using the key in Evans and Till, 1966, while to identify Androlaelaps bayoumi, the original description (Basha and Yousef, 2000) should be consulted.

Androlaelaps bayoumi Basha and Yousef, 2000 [Apis]
Androlaelaps casalis (Berlese, 1887) [Apis]
Androlaelaps fahrenholzi (Berlese, 1911) [Apis]
Androlaelaps myrmecophila (Evans and Till, 1966) [Bombus]

Distribution

Holarctic region (species found in bee nests).

Bee hosts

honey bees (Apis) and bumble bees (Bombus)

Host association level

Permanent

associated exclusively with bees or their close relative, wasps; cannot live without these hosts

Temporary

some life stages are associated with bees, while others are not

Facultative or opportunistic

can complete entire life cycle without bees or their close relative, wasps

facultative

Host associations, feeding, and dispersal

  • All stages are probably predatory on microarthropods in habitats such as nests of birds, rodents, ants, and social bees.
  • Mites can enter bee nests by walking if a nest is nearby. Females of one species, Androlaelaps bayoumi, have been found on honey bee workers, indicating a possibility of phoresy.

Biology

Many species develop tight associations with their bird or mammal hosts. Four species have been recorded either from honey bees or bumble bees; they are probably all generalists that opportunistically invade bee nests.