Pygmephorus

 

HARMFUL | NOT HARMFUL | UNCERTAIN

unknown, but probably neutral; usually lives in roden nests

Name and classification

Pygmephorus Kramer, 1877

Taxonomy
Superorder Acariformes » Order Trombidiformes » Suborder Prostigmata » Infraorder Eleutherengona » Hyporder Heterostigmata » Family Pygmephoridae » Genus Pygmephorus

Type species
Pygmephorus spinosus Kramer, 1877

Diagnosis

Female: Tergite C not covering prodorsum (Fig. 1). Three pairs of propodosomal dorsal setae (Figs. 1, 3). Leg I four-segmented, with tarsus and tibia I fused forming tibiotarsus (Figs. 2, 4). Claw I large, striated (Figs. 1, 2, 4 ). Three pairs of setae on each coxae I-II (Fig. 4). Tarsus IV with claws (Fig. 1). Trochanter IV subquadrate (not triangular) (Fig. 2). Seta v’ on femur IV swordlike; seta pl’’ on tarsus IV swordlike (Fig 2).

Distribution

Holarctic, Neotropical, Oriental, and Afrotropical regions. The record of a single species (Pygmephorus spinosus) from beehives is from Europe.

Bee hosts

occasionally occurs in honey bee hives (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

  • Mites are normally associated with small mammals but occasionally can be found in beehives.
  • Pygmephorus probably cannot sustainably reproduce in beehives.

Biology

This genus can also rarely be found in other habitats such as decaying logs, old straw, and manure. One holarctic species associated with many species of small rodents and insectivores, Pygmephorus spinosus, has been found in hives of the European honey bee Apis mellifera in Europe (Haragsim et al., 1987).