beneficial; feeds on fungi in bee nests

Name and classification

Proctotydaeus Berlese, 1911

Superorder Acariformes » Order Trombidiformes » Suborder Prostigmata » Infraorder Eupodina » Family Tydeidae » Genus Proctotydaeus

Type species
Proctotydaeus viator Berlese, 1911


Adult: Prodorsal bothridial setae present (Figs. 1, 4). Chelicerae contiguous (Fig.1). Movable digit of chelicerae stylet-like (Figs. 2, 3). Palps with 3 free segments (Figs. 2, 3). Palptarsus unmodified, not thumblike Figs. 2, 3). Palptarsus lacking markedly elongated setae Figs. 2, 3). Palptibia without clawlike setae (Figs. 2, 3). Ovipore transverse (Fig. 2). Naso absent (Fig. 1). No claws on tarsus I (Figs. 2, 3). No net-like ornamentation on legs and prodorsum (Fig. 1). No trichobothria on tibia IV (Fig. 1).


The subgenus Neotydeolus (the only subgenus of Proctotydaeus containing bee-associated mites) is distributed in the Neotropical region.

Bee hosts

The mite subgenus Neotydeolus occurs on stingless bees (Meliponini), genera Melipona, Partamona, and Scaptotrigona.

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

permanent (subgenus Neotydeolus)

Host associations, feeding, and dispersal

Subgenus Neotydeolus

  • All stages live in nests of stingless bees, feeding primarily on fungi.
  • Mite females may disperse on adult bees; this is not documented, but known for other mites of this genus.


This genus includes 17 species grouped in four subgenera (see below). Of them, only members of the subgenus Neotydeolus (with 3 species) have been found on bees. All three species of Neotydeolus are specific to stingless bee nests, where they feed on fungi. The presence of Proctotydaeus (Neotydeolus) therapeutikos in nests of Scaptotrigona postica decreases the loss of the bee brood from 50% to 3% in the nest (Flechtmann and Camargo, 1979).

There are three other subgenera (listed with number of species in parentheses): Proctotydaeus (4); Proctotydulus (6); and Oriolella (4). Species of the nominal subgenus Proctotydaeus are associated with locusts (Acrididae, Orthoptera). The subgenus Oriolella includes species that have been found in barn straw, nests of hawks and owls, or on beetles (Coleoptera: Ipidae and Cucujidae). Mites of the subgenus Proctotydulus have been found on different plants, straw, bark beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae), or on noctuid moths (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) (Kaźmierski, 1998; Khaustov, 1997).