lives in bee nests; details of biology unknown
Female: Claws or ambulacra on leg I absent but present on tarsi II-IV (Fig. 1). Two brushes present at base of movable digit (Fig. 2). Peritreme looped and enters stigma posteriorly (Figs. 2, 4). Trigonholaspis can be distinguished from all other macrochelid genera by the presence of four pairs of opisthonotal dorsocentral setae (J1, J2, J3, J5) (Fig. 1) and by the presence of dorsal "hump" on the idiosoma (Fig. 1). In other macrochelids, there are two, rarely three, pairs of opisthonotal dorsocentral setae and the "hump" is absent.
The four known species, all from the nest of Trigona amalthea (Apidae: Meliponini) from Colombia, can be identified using the original descriptions (Vitzthum, 1930). In addition, there is a relatively large number of undescribed species. For example, five new species have been reported from Brazil (Krantz, 1998b) and one from Panama (our data).
stingless bees (Meliponini)
associated exclusively with bees or their close relative, wasps; cannot live without these hosts
some life stages are associated with bees, while others are not
can complete entire life cycle without bees or their close relative, wasps
The biology of this group is virtually unknown. Salt reported his observations on several species of Trigonholaspis associated with Trigona amalthea (Salt, 1929), though multiple mite species were likely present. He found that Trigonholaspis was very abundant on combs but not on pollen- and honey-pots. In a few cases, mites were found inside closed cells. Of them, one mite was attached to the middle leg of the bee pupa.