neutral to beneficial; general predator of microarthropods in bee nests

Name and classification

Cosmolaelaps Berlese, 1903

Superorder Parasitiformes » Order Mesostigmata » Suborder Monogynaspida » Hyporder Dermanyssiae » Family Laelapidae » Genus Cosmolaelaps

Type species
Laelaps claviger Berlese, 1883


Female: With widened dorsal setae having a basal asymmetric protuberance (Figs. 1, 3), dorsal idiosoma with a few unpaired setae (Fig. 1), and typical corniculi reaching middle of palpfemur and not extending to its anterior edge (Fig. 7). Otherwise similar to Hypoaspis, Group 1.

Species identification

The genus Cosmolaelaps comprises 108 species (Moreira et al., 2014), which are predators of small microarthropods in soil and related habitats. One species, Cosmolaelaps vacuus, a generalist predator, was described and included in a key to British species (Evans and Till, 1966).

Similar genera

By the presence of widened dorsal setae similar to Stratiolaelaps. Cosmolaelaps can be distinguished from Stratiolaelaps by its typical corniculi that reach nearly to middle of palpfemur (Fig. 7). In Stratiolaelaps, corniculi reach anterior level of palpfemur. Also similar to Hypoaspis, but dorsal setae are widened in Cosmolaelaps (simple, not widened in Hypoaspis).


The genus is cosmopolitan. The single species recorded from bees (Cosmolaelaps vacuus) has been found in the Holarctic and Oriental regions.

Bee hosts

Cosmolaelaps vacuus has been found, among other habitats, in a bumble bee (Bombus) nest.

Host association level


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

Facultative or opportunistic

can complete entire life cycle without bees or their close relative, wasps


Host associations, feeding, and dispersal

  • All stages are predatory on microarthropods in different habitats, including nests of social bees.
  • Mites can invade nearby bee nests by walking.