probably commensal; somewhat harmful when feeds on pollen and somewhat beneficial when feeds on fungi

Name and classification

Pseudacarapis Lindquist, 1985

Superorder Acariformes » Order Trombidiformes » Suborder Prostigmata » Infraorder Eleutherengona » Hyporder Heterostigmata » Family Tarsonemidae » Genus Pseudacarapis

Type species
Tarsonemus indoapis Lindquist, 1968


Adult: Metapodosomal venter with 2 pairs of setae (3a, 3b) (3c, 4b absent) (Fig. 2). Cheliceral stylets short (Fig. 2). Femur I with 4 setae, femur II with 3 setae (Fig. 2). Dorsal gnathosomal setae filiform (Figs. 1, 3). Dorsal setae of idiosoma simple, unmodified, short (Fig. 1). Gnathosomal capsule not conspicuously beaklike (Fig. 2).

Female: Claw I present, not enlarged (Figs. 1, 3). Ambulacrum I developed (Figs. 1, 3). Prodorsum with a pair of capitate trichobothria (Figs. 1, 3). Tegula short, not elongated, truncated (Fig. 2). Pharynx not conspicuously enlarged (Figs. 1, 3). Setae sc2 well posterior to stigma, not longer than other setae (Figs. 1, 3). Stigmata situated closely anterolaterad of vertical setae v1 on hornlike protuberances by edge of prodorsal shield (Figs. 1, 3). Apodemes 4 extending posterolaterally to bases of trochanters IV (Fig. 2).

Species identification

The two described species can be identified using Ochoa et al., 2003.

Similar genera

Pseudacarapis differs from Tarsonemus by scapular setae sc2 not longer than others (sc2 distinctly longer than other setae in Tarsonemus); stigmata situated closely anterolateral of vertical setae on hornlike protuberances by edge of prodorsal shield (stigmata situated posterior to v1 and stigmata and v1 are not very close to each other; protuberances bearing stigmata absent in Tarsonemus); apodemes 4 extending posterolaterally to bases of trochanters IV (not reaching bases of trochanters IV in Tarsonemus); tegula truncated (rounded in Tarsonemus).


India, Japan, China (Pseudacarapis indoapis), and Mexico (Pseudacarapis trispicula). Note that the record of P. indoapis from Egypt (Abou Senna, 1997) is a misidentification.

Bee hosts

honey bees (Apis)

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 live in nests of honey bees (Apis), where they feed on provisioned food or fungi.
  • Mite females are phoretic on adult bees, concentrating on the neck and in or near the posterior tentorial pits of the host.


Phoretic females of Pseudacarapis indoapis prefer being on the neck and in or near the posterior tentorial pits of the host, where 2-14 mite individuals can occur. Males and larvae have been found only in beehives (Sumangala, 1999). Based on cheliceral morphology, this species is not a parasite, but probably a pollen-feeding commensal (Lindquist, 1968). Direct observations indicated that provisioned food or fungus is the food source for this mite species (Sumangala, 1999). In Japan, it has been found in dying queenless colonies (Sakai and Sasaki, 1989).