Stratiolaelaps

 

HARMFUL | NOT HARMFUL | UNCERTAIN

neutral to beneficial; predators of small arthropods in bee nests

Name and classification

Stratiolaelaps Berlese, 1916

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

Type species
Laelaps (Iphis) miles Berlese, 1892

Common synonyms
treated as part of Hypoaspis or Cosmolaelaps in older literature

Diagnosis

Female: Chelicerae enlarged (Figs, 1, 2, 9). Corniculi extending to level of anterior edge of palpfemur (Figs. 2, 9).

Similar genera

With the presence of widened dorsal setae, this genus is similar to Cosmolaelaps. It can be distinguished from this genus and all other genera of Laelapidae by its enlarged chelicerae (Figs. 1, 2, 9) and corniculi extending to the level of the anterior edge of palpfemur (Figs. 2, 9).

Distribution

The genus is cosmopolitan. Stratiolaelaps miles (Berlese, 1892), found in beehives, is Holarctic.

Bee hosts

may be found in nests of honey bees (Apis)

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 predatory on microarthropods in a variety of habitats, including nests of honey bees.
  • Mites can enter bee nests by walking if a nest is nearby.

Biology

Stratiolaelaps mites are aggressive predators of small invertebrates. They live in soil, stored products, rodent nests, and burrows. One record is from beehives. Prey includes larvae and eggs of springtails, nematodes, mites, and small insects. Several species of Stratiolaelaps are used for biological control of fungus gnats and thrips.