Chelacheles

 

HARMFUL | NOT HARMFUL | UNCERTAIN

probably neutral to beneficial; usually a generalist predator; uses bees, among other insects, for dispersal

Name and classification

Chelacheles Baker, 1958

Taxonomy
Superorder Acariformes » Order Trombidiformes » Suborder Prostigmata » Infraorder Eleutherengona » Hyporder Raphignathina » Family Cheyletidae » Genus Chelacheles

Type species
Chelacheles strabismus Baker, 1958

Diagnosis

Adult: Palptarsus with 1 comb-like seta (sul) (Fig. 3). Apical dorsal knob distinctly developed on tarsus I (Fig. 3). Palpfemur with 4 setae. Eyes present (Fig. 1). Tarsi I-IV with paired claws (Fig. 2).

Species identification

Only one species is associated with bees (Chelacheles temoak), and it can be distinguished from other Chelacheles species using a key in Bochkov and OConnor, 2004.

Distribution

Nearctic, Palaearctic, Oriental, and Afrotropical regions. The single known bee-associated species, Chelacheles temoak, is from the USA.

Bee hosts

apid bee Diadasia sphaeralcearum (phoretic host)

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

unknown

Host associations, feeding, and dispersal

  • Most species in this genus are general predators in various habitats. So far, this genus has not been found in bee nests.
  • Mite females disperse on insect hosts, including bees (Fig. 4).

Biology

Chelacheles occurs in stored products, bird nests, subcortical habitats, forest litter, oak branches, soil, ant nests, and the fungus Daldinia concentrica (Xylariales). Species of Chelacheles are probably general predators on small invertebrates. Phoretic hosts include a bee and wood-boring beetles of the family Bostrichidae (Xyloperthodes nitidipennis and Sinoxylon crissum).