Spadiseius

 

HARMFUL | NOT HARMFUL | UNCERTAIN

neutral; lives in inflorescences of palms and other monocots; uses bees as transport

Name and classification

Spadiseius Lindquist and Moraza, 2008

Taxonomy
Superorder Parasitiformes » Order Mesostigmata » Suborder Monogynaspida » Hyporder Dermanyssiae » Family Melicharidae » Genus Spadiseius

Type species
Spadiseius calyptrogynae Lindquist and Moraza, 2008

Diagnosis

Adult: Dorsal shield entire, slightly to notably hypertrichous, with one to several pairs of supernumerary setae inserted near setae j6 and sometimes among setae z3–z5, s3–s5 on anterior region and sometimes among setae J1–J4 on posterior region (Fig. 3). Fixed cheliceral digit with pilus dentilis modified to an inflated, membranous lobe (Figs. 9, 11); movable cheliceral digit usually with a pointed process (mucro) on its mid-ventral face (Fig. 11). Peritrematic shield free posteriorly, not connected to exopodal plate IV (Fig. 7).

Female: Femur IV of female with dorsal seta ad1 untapered, rod-like, or oar-like, in contrast to adjacent simple setae (Fig. 15). Epigynal shield gently rounded posteriorly (Fig.5). Anal shield oval or elliptical, bearing only the 3 common circumanal setae (Fig. 6).

Male: Dorsal shield with peripheral setae enlarged to form a corona of basally thick and apically clavate, capitate, or attenuate setae, in contrast to their generally simple setal counterparts in females.

Species identification

No dichotomous key is available, but the two known species can be identified based on their original descriptions in Lindquist and Moraza, 2008.

Distribution

Neotropics

Bee hosts

phoretic on stingless bees (Meliponini)

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 live in inflorescences of palms and aroids, where they probably feed on pollen and nectar.
  • Dispersal occurs on various flower-visiting animals, including bees. Females are the phoretic stage in Spadiseius spathiphyllae; in Spadiseius calyptrogynae, females, males, and phoretic nymphs were recorded on beetles and bats.

Biology

The entire life cycle of Spadiseius occurs in inflorescences of palms and aroids. Evidence for their feeding behavior is based on cheliceral morphology rather than direct observations. A single inflorescence of the aroid Spathiphyllum friedrichsthallii can harbor more than 300 mites. These mites disperse on various plant-visiting animals (e. g., scarab beetles, stingless bees, and bats).