Pygmephoroidea

Siteroptes cerealium, copyright Växten & Marken.


Belongs within: Prostigmata.

The Pygmephoroidea are a group of primarily free-living mites that mostly feed on fungi. Many species have dimorphic females, with distinct phoretic and non-phoretic forms. Members of the Siteroptidae have all setae on the first femur slender and are associated with plants or fungi. The Pygmephoridae have seta d on the first femur thickened and modified in shape, and are free-living or associated with fungi, insects or animal nests (Walter et al. 2009).

See also: The Pygmephoroidea: lives of phoresy and fungi.

Characters (from Walter et al. 2009): Female gnathosoma capsulate, circular, oval or elongate, visible or hidden from above, with one or usually two pairs of dorsal setae; palpi closely appressed, reduced; movable cheliceral digits stylet-like, partially retractile; pharynx divided into two or three muscular sections. Male gnathosoma reduced, tubiform, nonfunctional trophically. Prodorsal shield of females with pair of anterolateral stigmata (extended into troughlike peritremes in some taxa) and associated tracheae, and with two or usually three pairs of setiform setae and with or without a pair of anterolateral bothridia with capitate sensilla, the latter represented by a pair of normal scapular setae in larvae and males. Opisthosoma of females with first dorsal plate C entire, not expanded anteriorly over prodorsum. Adults with coxisternal plates I-II united medially, forming prominent prosternal apodeme; female coxisternal plates III-IV united medially, usually forming poststernal apodeme. Female genital opening small, covered by consolidated aggenital plate, genital and aggenital setae usually absent (two pairs of aggenital setae present in Meristoplaxa). Males with plates C and D consolidated, and with aedeagus tubiform, usually short and stiff, enclosed in caudal genital capsule formed by consolidated plates H, PS, Ag. Females with legs I similar to or thicker than legs II-IV and with single claw sometimes enlarged for grasping; legs II-IV dissimilar in form, each with paired claws and stalked empodium or these absent on legs IV; trochanter IV quadrangular, longer than wide, in contrast to subtriangular trochanters I-III. Adult coxisternal plates I-II together with 4-6 pairs of setae; trochanters I-IV each with a setae; femur I with usually four (three in Asensilla, five in Meristoplaxa) setae; genu I with 2-4 setae; genu II with 2-3 setae. Male leg IV stout, its tarsus variably formed, with or without a single claw, with or without a broad, short empodium, sometimes with 1-2 apical setae elongated and 1-2 other apical setae short, spinelike. With two active postembryonic instars (larva and adult); single nymphal instar an inactive calyptostatic apoderm.

<==Pygmephoroidea
    |--Siteroptidae LA01
    |    |--Asensilla WL09
    |    |--Diroptes WL09
    |    |--Sevastianovella WL09
    |    |--Pseudobakerdania WL09
    |    |--Dudichiana WL09
    |    |--Metasiteroptes WL09
    |    |--Meristoplaxa [Meristoplaxinae] WL09
    |    |--Zambedania WL09
    |    `--Siteroptes Amerling 1861 SB63
    |         |--*S. graminisugus (Hardy 1851) [=Acarus graminisugus] SB63
    |         |--S. avenae M83
    |         |--S. cerealium WL09 [incl. Pediculopsis graminum Reuter 1900 SB63, S. graminum WL09]
    |         |--S. crossi M83
    |         |--S. longisetosus M83
    |         |--S. longisomus WL09
    |         `--S. reniformis WL09
    `--Pygmephoridae M83
         |--Luciaphorus perniciosus [incl. L. auriculariae, L. hauseri] WL09
         |--Parapygmephorus costaricanus WP99
         |--Elattoma WL09
         |--Pediculitopsis tubiphorus WL09
         |--Petalomium WL09
         |--Xenaster longiabdominalis WL09
         |--Geotrupophorus WL09
         |--Spatulaphorus WL09
         |--Acarothorectes WL09
         |--Pygmephorellus WL09
         |--Sasadania WL09
         |--Acinogaster WL09
         |--Sicilipes WL09
         |--Propygmephorus treati WL09
         |--Termitacarus ishiharai WL09
         |--Mahunkania WL09
         |--Pseudopygmephorus WL09
         |--Allopygmephorus WL09
         |--Siteroptoides trombidiphilus WL09
         |--Cerattoma WL09
         |--Rackia WL09
         |--Pediculaster LA01
         |    |--P. americanus WL09
         |    |--P. flechtmanni A-B91
         |    |--P. gautengensis CC01
         |    |--P. mesembrinae LA01 [=Siteroptes (Pediculaster) mesembrinae M83]
         |    `--P. morelliae CC01
         |--Pygmephorus Kramer 1877 SB63
         |    |--*P. spinosus Kramer 1877 SB63
         |    |--P. abdominalis Berlese 1904 SB63
         |    |--P. cultratus Berlese 1904 SB63
         |    |    |--P. c. cultratus SB63
         |    |    `--P. c. minor Berlese 1904 SB63
         |    `--P. mesembrinus Canestrini 1881 SB63
         `--Bakerdania Sasa 1961 Z91, S94
              |--B. arvorum M83
              |--B. centriger Z91
              |--B. exigua Z91
              |--B. gracilis M83
              |--B. longiclavata M83
              |--B. mirabilis M83
              |--B. novaezelandica M83
              |--B. quadrata WL09
              |--B. sellnicki M83
              |--B. tarsalis M83
              `--B. togatus M83

*Type species of generic name indicated

REFERENCES

[A-B91] Athias-Binche, F. 1991. Ecology and evolution of phoresy in mites. In Dusbábek, F. & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 1 pp. 27-41. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[CC01] Coetzee, S. H., & A. M. Camerik. 2001. The use of autofluorescence of the pharyngeal pump complex in Pygmephoridae (Acari: Heterostigmata) as a new taxonomic aid. In Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress (R. B. Halliday, D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff, eds) pp. 213-216. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[LA01] Lillo, E. de, & P. Aldini. 2001. Functional morphology of some leg sense organs in Pediculaster mesembrinae (Acari: Siteroptidae) and Phytoptus avellanae (Acari: Phytoptidae). In Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress (R. B. Halliday, D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff, eds) pp. 217-225. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[M83] Martin, N. A. 1983. Miscellaneous observations on a pasture fauna: An annotated species list. DSIR Entomology Division Report 3: 1-98.

[SB63] Schweizer, J. & C. Bader. 1963. Die Landmilben der Schweiz (Mittelland, Jura und Alpen): Trombidiformes Reuter, mit 217 Arten und Unterarten und 193 Originalzeichnungen. Denkschriften der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft [Mémoires de la Société Helvétique des Sciences Naturelles] 84 (2): i-vi, 209-378.

[S94] Southcott, R. V. 1994. Revision of the larvae of the Microtrombidiinae (Acarina, Microtrombidiidae), with notes on life histories. Zoologica 48 (2): 1-155.

[WL09] Walter, D. E., E. E. Lindquist, I. M. Smith, D. R. Cook & G. W. Krantz. 2009. Order Trombidiformes. In: Krantz, G. W. & D. E. Walter (eds) A Manual of Acarology, 3rd ed., pp. 233-420. Texas Tech University Press.

[WP99] Walter, D. E. & H. C. Proctor. 1999. Mites: Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour. CABI Publishing: Wallingford (UK).

[Z91] Zaki, A. M. 1991. Potency of solarization and fumigation of some pesticides on predacious soil mites associated with cantaloupe in Egypt. In Dusbábek, F. & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 2 pp. 719-723. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

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