disperses on bees and lives in bee nests, but feeding behavior is unknown

Name and classification

Cerophagus Oudemans, 1903 (year verified; different authors cite the year as 1904 or 1902)

Superorder Acariformes » Order Sarcoptiformes » Suborder Oribatida » Infraorder Desmonomata » Hyporder Astigmata » Family Gaudiellidae » Genus Cerophagus

Type species
Glycyphagus bomborum Oudemans, 1902 (=Hypopus granulatus Dujardin, 1849)


Adult: Palps attenuated distally, palpal solenidion as long as basal palpal segment (Fig. 11). Setae h3 situated on well developed, sclerotized projection on posterior body of female (Fig. 9).

Other diagnostic characters

Phoretic deutonymph: Setae ve present (Fig. 4). Dorsal sclerites strongly punctate (Fig. 1). Coxal apodemes III-IV ending freely (Figs. 4, 5). All coxal fields completely open (Figs. 4, 5). Tarsi IV unmodified, similar to tarsi III (Fig. 7). Pretarsi without long membranous ambulacra, empodial claws arising from tarsal apices, borne on short condylophores (Fig. 6). Empodial claws I-IV well developed, strongly hooked, with basal flange (Fig. 7). Tarsal setae ba I-II present (correlates with character in adult) (Fig. 6). Tarsal seta aa I absent (Fig. 6).

Adult: Ventral subcapitulum without a prominent pattern of external transverse and oblique ridges (Fig. 11). Prodorsum with external vertical setae (ve) present, about half the length of vi, situated on the same transverse line with vi (Fig. 9). Dorsal body surface with rounded mammillations (Fig. 9). Discrete coxal apodemes III and IV present (Fig. 10). Anus situated in the middle between ovipore and posterior edge of body (Fig. 10). Empodial claws arise from tip of short condylophores, close to tarsus (not from elongated condylophores accompanied by enlarged pretarsal ambulacra) (Fig. 12). Claws simple (Fig. 12). Solenidion ω2 of tarsus I subterminal (Fig. 12). Tarsal setae e and f filiform (Fig. 12). Body outline round (Fig. 9).

Species identification

The two described species, Cerophagus granulatus and Cerophagus nearcticus, can be separated using OConnor, 1992.


Holarctic region

Bee hosts

bumble bees (Bombus)

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 bumble bees, Bombus spp. Food preferences and biology in the nest are unknown.
  • Phoretic deutonymphs disperse on their bumble bee hosts, concentrating under tegulae (Fig. 14).