neutral; live on bodies of developing bee larvae; probably feed on microorganisms

Name and classification

Glyphanoetus Oudemans, 1929

Superorder Acariformes » Order Sarcoptiformes » Suborder Oribatida » Infraorder Desmonomata » Hyporder Astigmata » Family Histiostomatidae » Genus Glyphanoetus

Type species
Glyphanoetus fulmeki Oudemans, 1929


Phoretic deutonymph: Solenidion ω1 of leg I positioned directly on tibia, associated with tibial solenidion phi (φ) (Fig. 6). Setae of coxa I (1a) filiform (dung mites) or vestigial (bee-associated mites). Setae of coxae III (3a) conoidal (Fig.4).

Other diagnostic characters

Phoretic deutonymph: Empodial claws I-IV simple (not bifurcated) (Fig. 6). Tarsus III and IV with a weak, flexible region in middle of segment (Fig. 7). Pretarsus III with empodial claw, pretarsus IV with a claw that is distinctly thinner than claw III (Fig. 7). Trochanters I-II without setae. Anterior prodorsum without a pair of brown pigmented areas (Fig. 6). Anterior edge of dorsal hysterosoma entire, smooth (not scalloped) (Fig. 1). Anterolateral region of hysterosoma without lens-like organs (Fig. 1). Hysterosomal setae c1, d1 and e1 filiform (not lanceolate) (Fig. 1). Attachment organ wider than long (Fig. 5). Coxal fields IV closed (Fig. 4).

Female: Pretarsi with a bilobed membranous ambulacrum and empodial claw. Posterior rings adjacent to or directly anterior to the anus. Anterior apodemes of coxae I fused medially. Most dorsal setae elongate (c1 always elongate); setae spine-like, foliate or heavily barbed. Dorsal setae borne on individual tubercles.

Male: Paranal suckers absent. Aedeagus thin, usually short and often posteriorly directed. Without large spine-like setae at base of aedeagus. With two pairs of genital "rings." Mouthparts and setation normal. External vertical setae long and spine-like, extending over the gnathosoma. Many dorsal setae long, often heavily barbed or blade-like.

Species identification

A dichotomous key is not available. Most species of Glyphanoetus have been described from dung or dung beetles. The only species of Glyphanoetus described from bees can be identified using Cross, 1968.


Palaearctic, Nearctic, Neotropical, and Afrotropical regions. Species associated with bees have been recorded in the Nearctic region.

Bee hosts

Glyphanoetus nomiensis and undescribed species have been found in association with halictid bees of the genus Nomia.

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 (Glyphanoetus nomiensis and related undescribed species)

Host associations, feeding, and dispersal

  • All stages live in nests of ground-nesting halictid bees of the genus Nomia, where they probably feed on various microorganisms.
  • Mite phoretic deutonymphs disperse on adult bees (males and females). They generally attach to the wings, but in male bees, they prefer "pockets" under sternite 5 (ST5).


Most species of Glyphanoetus are phoretic on beetles (Coleoptera) and flies (Sphaeroceridae) that visit dung and related habitats. Observations on phoresy of Glyphanoetus nomiensis associated with Nomia melanderi were reported in Cross and Bohart, 1969. The bees probably obtain their mites largely or entirely from the natal cell (i.e., mites do not migrate through the burrows or soil to find a phoretic host). In general, the mites attach themselves to the upper surfaces of all four wings of both sexes, but they are often found in even larger numbers in the lateral depressions of the modified fifth metasomal sternite of males (lateral "pockets"). The largest mite load was detected in a male (62 deutonymphs, of which 32 were under sternite 5). Newly emerged female bees were found to have a maximum of 50 mites.

Immature and adult mites have been found on the mucous-covered body of the developing bee larvae. Their food source is not known, and they appear to cause little or no direct larval mortality by feeding (Cross, 1968).