Kerdabania

 

HARMFUL | NOT HARMFUL | UNCERTAIN

probably neutral to beneficial; feeds on fungi in bee nests

Name and classification

Kerdabania Khaustov, 2009

Taxonomy
Superorder Acariformes » Order Trombidiformes » Suborder Prostigmata » Infraorder Eleutherengona » Hyporder Heterostigmata » Family Neopygmephoridae » Genus Kerdabania

Type species
Kerdabania magnifica Khaustov, 2009

Common synonyms
Formerly was part of Bakerdania and Pygmephorus.

Diagnosis

Female: Tergite C not covering or slightly covering prodorsum (Fig. 5). Two pairs of propodosomal dorsal setae and clavate bothridial setae (Fig. 5). Leg I four-segmented, with fused tarsus and tibia I, forming tibiotarsus (Figs. 9). Two pairs of setae on each coxae I-II (Fig. 6). Claw I medium-sized, not striated (Figs. 9, 10). Tarsus IV with claws (Fig. 11). Trochanter IV subquadrate (not triangular) (Fig. 11). Setae d of femur I modified, widened (may be only slightly) (Fig. 9). Pinnaculum on tibiotarsus I absent (Fig. 9). Gnathosoma with 1 pair of dorsal setae (Fig. 3). Basal part of gnathosoma not elongated (Figs. 3, 4). Palps shorter than basal part of gnathosoma (Fig. 4). Median genital sclerite absent (Fig. 8). Posterior margin of posterior sternal plate tripartite (with 3 large lobes) (Fig. 8).

Species identification

Dichotomous key is available in Khaustov, 2009. Kerdabania quadrata (the only species of Kerdabania found in association with bees) is illustrated in Smiley, 1978.

Similar genera

The genus Kerdabania is similar to genera Bakerdania and Pseudopygmephorus. From both genera it differs by the presence of only one pair of dorsal gnathosomal setae (2 pairs in Bakerdania and Pseudopygmephorus), by the tripartite posterior margin of its posterior sternal plate (entire in Bakerdania and Pseudopygmephorus). From Pseudopygmephorus the genus Kerdabania differs by its solenidion ω1, which is not fused with tibiotarsus (in Pseudopygmephorus solenidion ω1 is completely fused with tibiotarsus).

Distribution

Worldwide, except for Antarctica. The single generalist, Holarctic species, Kerdabania quadrata, has been found in association with bees in the Middle East (Iran) (Smiley, 1978; Kamali et al., 2001).

Bee hosts

honey bee (Apis) hives

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 various habitats, including bee nests, where they probably feed on fungi with various degrees of specificity.
  • Phoresy on adult insects is unknown for any species of Kerdabania.

Biology

Kerdabania quadrata can develop on only one fungal genus, and it occurs on soil, forest litter, in nests of small mammals and ants, and in beehives. Phoresy is unknown. One generalist species, Kerdabania quadrata, has been found in a nest of the European honey bee, Apis mellifera, and in other habitats: in litter from under strawstacks, under Sambucus shrubs, in forests, in soil, and from an ant nest (Mahunka, 1981). Kerdabania quadrata has also been recorded as a pest of commercially grown mushrooms (Wicht, 1970).