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Two new species of microdispid mites (Acari: Heterostigmata: Pygmephoroidea) associated with Lucanus ibericus (Coleoptera: Lucanidae)

Seyedein, Sarina1 ; Rahiminejad, Vahid2 and Nadimi, Ahmad3

1Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Plant Production, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resource, Golestan, Iran.
2✉ Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Plant Production, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resource, Golestan, Iran.
3Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Plant Production, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resource, Golestan, Iran.

2020 - Volume: 60 Issue: 3 pages: 595-606

https://doi.org/10.24349/acarologia/20204388
ZooBank LSID: 7FD7D3DB-1488-4C29-9519-AD8B6262D005

Original research

Keywords

Microdispidae forest fauna Insect phoresy stag beetle Iran

Abstract

Two new species of the microdispid mites (Acari: Microdispidae) phoretic on Lucanus ibericus are described from Iran: Premicrodispus gorganiensis Rahiminejad & Seyedein sp. nov. and Neomicrodispus lucani Rahiminejad & Seyedein sp. nov. The mites were collected from forests with Hornbeam trees (Carpinus spp.) and Oak trees (Quercus spp.) in Gorgan, northern Iran. The distribution of the heterostigmatic mites on lucanid beetles is reviewed. Also, a key to species of the Neomicrodispus is provided.


Introduction

Although many of heterostigmatic mites (Acari: Prostigmata) prefer to be free-living, almost all of them take advantage of phoresy in some periods of their life to distribute and establish their populations (Hermann et al. 1970; Kaliszewski et al. 1995). Heterostigmata have a wide range of associations with arthropods, including predation, parasitism and mutualism; so that different host–symbiont interactions could lead to speciation (Okabe et al. 2012). More than 2000 described species in eight superfamilies are classified in Heterostigmata (Walter et al. 2009; Zhang et al. 2011). The four families Microdispidae, Scutacaridae, Neopygmephoridae and Pygmephoridae constitute the largest superfamily in Heterostigmata (Acari: Prostigmata), known as Pygmephoroidea (Khaustov 2004). The least diverse family in the superfamily, Microdispidae Cross, 1965, includes 28 described genera and more than 120 species (Khaustov and Minor 2020) that are mostly fungivorous, inhabiting soil, litter, mosses or decaying plant material, and some are in relation with various arthropods by phoresy or parastitism with the most prevalent hosts for this family being beetles and ants (Kaliszewski et al. 1995; Walter et al. 2009; Hajiqanbar et al. 2012a; Rahiminejad et al. 2015a; Khaustov and Minor 2020). The taxonomic placement of many microdispid mites was as doubtful, hereupon, Khaustov (2018) provided a key for genera. There are various reports about microdispid mites in Iran (Rahiminejad et al. 2010, 2015a; Hajiqanbar et al. 2012a, b; Hosseininaveh et al. 2013, 2015; Loghmani et al. 2014a, b; Katlav et al. 2015; Hajiqanbar and Hasseininaveh 2014; Filekesh et al. 2014; Abbasi-Moghadam et al. 2014; Badoodam et al. 2015; Azhari et al. 2018; Hajiqanbar and Arjomandi 2019; Rahiminejad and Hajiqanbar 2020). Until now, six genera and 23 species have been recorded from Iran (Hajiqanbar and Sobhi 2018).

A very diverse group of scarabaeoid beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea), including Lucanidae, could be identified as hosts for microdispid mites (Kaliszewski et al. 1995; Walter et al. 2009; Hajiqanbar and Sobhi 2018; Khaustov and Frolov 2018). Lucanid beetles feed on honeydew or on sap from leaves and trees in their adult stage and their larvae breed in or beneath the decaying wood of logs or stumps (Holloway 2007).

During a survey on mite fauna of the cohort Heterostigmata associated with insects in Golestan province, Northern Iran, in summer 2019, two new species of the genera Premicrodispus and Neomicrodispus phoretic on beetles (Coleoptera: Lucanidae) were collected by light trap. The aim of this paper is to describe these new species. In addition, the representatives of the Heterostigmata associated with lucanid beetles are reviewed. A key for species of the genus Neomicrodispus is provided as well.

Materials and methods

Host beetles were captured by light trap in Alangdareh Forest, in Golestan province, northern Iran, during summer 2019. Mite specimens were cleared in lactophenol and mounted in Hoyer's medium. The morphology of the mites was studied by a light microscope with phase contrast illumination (Olympus BX51, Tokyo. Japan). The terminology of the idiosoma and legs follows that of Lindquist (1986), the designation of cheliceral setae follows Grandjean 1947 and the nomenclature of subcapitular setae follows Grandjean (1944). All measurements in the descriptions are given in micrometers (μm) for the holotype and four paratypes (in parentheses). Details of geographical position were recorded using a global positioning system (GPS model: eTrex).

The beetle host was identified by the help of a key for Iranian lucanid beetles provided by Bartolozzi et al. (2014).

The type materials of the new species and host beetles are deposited in the Arthropods Collection, Acari section, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Plant Production, Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resource, Golestan, Iran.

Systematics

Family Microdispidae Cross, 1965

Genus Premicrodispus Cross, 1965

Type species: Microdispus (Premicrodispus) chandleri Cross, 1965, by original designation

Three subgenera, Premicrodispus Cross, 1965, Premicrodispulus Khaustov & Chydyrov, 2010, Premicrodispoides Khaustov & Maslov, 2013, and about 31 species constitute the cosmopolitan genus Premicrodispus (Khaustov and Minor 2020). Khaustov (2006) provided the diagnosis of the genus.

Premicrodispus gorganiensis Rahiminejad & Seyedein sp. nov.

ZOOBANK: 686F49BC-B7F0-409F-A406-96217D5A4CCA

(Figures 1–3)

Diagnosis — The new species is characterized by posterior margin of tergites C and D with a distinct median incision; setae d, e and f blunt-ended; setae e not associated with ridge; distance dd about 1.5 times longer than seta d; seta h1 less than 1.5 times longer than h2; seta 4a absent and seta ps2 present; tibiotarsus I with four solenidia; all dorsal setae extending posterior border of their tergites; cupuli ia and ih rhombic.

DescriptionFemale. Length of body (including gnathosoma) 236 (229–241), width 121 (118–125).

Gnathosoma (Figs 1A & B)– gnathosomal capsule elongated, dorsally with one pair of cheliceral setae, cha 11 (10–11). Palpal femorogenu with subequal setae dFe 5 (5–6) and dGe 7 (6–8). Gnathosoma ventrally with one pair of subcapitular setae m 11 (10–11). Pharyngeal system well sclerotized (Fig. 1C), including three pumps, pump 2 developed with transversely striate and pumps 1 and 3 vestigial.

Figure 1. Premicrodispus gorganiensis sp. nov., female. A – body in dorsal view, B – body in ventral view, C – pharyngeal system.

Idiosomal dorsum (Fig. 1A) – Body elliptic, all tergites smooth; stigmata oval and associated with thin tracheal trunks; all dorsal setae smooth; setae d, e and f blunt-ended, other dorsal setae pointed; prodorsal shield with elliptic stigmata, trichobothria with long stem, clavate and sparsely barbed, setae sc2 36 (32–37); tergite C with two pairs of setae c1 21 (20–24) and c2 32 (30–35), setae c2 longer than c1, posterior border of tergites C and D with distinct median incision; tergite D with setae d 18 (17–19), and cupuli ia rhombic and situated postero-laterad setae d; tergite EF with two pairs of setae e 14 (13–14) and f 23 (21–24), bases of setae e not associated with linear ridge; tergite H with setae h1 21 (20–22), h2 16 (15–16), cupuli ih rhombic and situated posteriad setae h2; distance h1h1 subequal to h1h2; all dorsal setae reach to posterior border of their tergites. Distances between dorsal setae: sc2sc2 37 (35–39), c1c1 45 (41–48), c2c2 80 (79–83), c1c2 22 (20–23), dd 31 (30–32), ee 80 (76–84), ef 11 (10–12), ff 45 (44–48), h1h1 18 (18–20), h2h2 57 (54–58), h1h2 19 (19–20).

Idiosomal venter (Fig. 1B) – Apodemes 1 (ap1) and 2 (ap2) well developed and joined with prosternal apodeme (appr), sejugal apodeme (apsej) thick, well sclerotized and joined with appr; all ventral plates smooth; all ventral setae pointed and smooth; setae 4a absent; anterior margin of posterior sternal plate straight, without lobe; apodemes 3 (ap3) extending beyond bases of setae 3a; apodemes 4 (ap4) short and reaching to bases of setae 3b; apodemes 5 absent; posterior margin of posterior sternal plate tripartite; coxal field I with setae 1a 11 (11–12), 1b 16 (15–17); coxal field II with setae 2a 11 (11–12), 2b 11 (10–12); coxal field III with setae 3a 14 (13–14), 3b 11 (9–11), 3c 16 (16–18); coxal field IV with setae 4b 14 (13–15) and 4c 11 (11–12), setae 1b and 3c subequal and longest on idiosomal venter; pseudanal plate with setae ps1 17 (16–18), ps2 9 (8–9) and ps3 31 (30–34).

Figure 2. Premicrodispus gorganiensis sp. nov., female. A – leg I, B – leg II.

Figure 3. Premicrodispus gorganiensis sp. nov., female. A – leg III, B – leg IV.

Legs (Figs 2, 3) – Leg I (Fig. 2A). Thinner and shorter than other legs. Setal formula: (number of solenidia in parentheses): Tr1–Fe3–Ge4–TiTa15 (4). Tibiotarsus I with seta k and five other blunt-ended eupathidial setae (p'', tc', tc'', ft' and ft''), solenidion ω1 6 (6–7) digitiform, solenidion ω2 3 (3–3) baculiform, solenidion φ1 3 (2–3) weakly clavate, φ2 3 (2–3) baculiform, setae pl' and pl'' whip-like; genu with three barbed setae and seta l'' smooth; femur with setae d, v'' and l' subequal. Leg II (Fig. 1B). Setal formula: Tr1–Fe3–Ge3–Ti4(1)–Ta6(1). Tarsus with sickle-like simple claws, solenidion ω 4 (3–4) digitiform, seta pl'' shortest on tarsus I; tibia with solenidion φ 3 (2–3) weakly clavate, setae v' and v'' subequal and longer than two others; genu with setae l' thickened; femur with setae l' and d, shortest and longest setae on legII, respectively; trochanter with seta v' as long as v' on first leg. Leg III (Fig. 3A). Setal formula: Tr1–Fe2–Ge2– Ti4(1)–Ta6. All leg setae smooth and pointed; tibia with solenidion φ 3 (2–3) digitiform, seta l' shorter than three others; genu with two subequal setae l' and v'; femur divided into basi- and telofemur with seta d longer than seta v'; trochanter with seta v' longer than femoral seta v'. Leg IV (Fig. 3B). Setal formula: Tr1–Fe2–Ge1– Ti4(1)–Ta6. Setae tc' thickened; tibia with solenidion φ 3 (2–3) digitiform, seta v'' on tibia and tc' on tarsus are shortest and longest on leg IV, respectively; genu with seta v' as long as seta v'' on tibia; femur divided into basi- and telofemur with seta v' longer than d; trochanter with seta v' longer than v' on femur.

Male and larva. Unknown.

Differential diagnosis — The new species is most similar to Premicrodispus spinosus Hosseininaveh & Hajiqanbar, 2015 by seta 4a absent, seta ps2 present, seta ps3 longer than ps1 and seta ps1 longer than ps2, setae d and f blunt-ended, but differs in having tarsi and tibiae II and III with simple setae (tarsi and tibiae II and III with spine-like setae in P. spinosus) and seta e with no linear ridge (setae e associated with a linear ridge in P. spinosus). On the other hand, the new species is similar to P. tenuisetus Khaustov, 2006 and P. novaezealandicus Khaustov and Minor, 2020 by absence of setae 4a and presence of setae ps2, but differs from them by setae d, e and f blunt-ended (setae d, e and f pointed in P. tenuisetus), setae e shorter than f (setae e longer than f in P. novaezealandicus and subequal with f in P. tenuisetus), setae e not associated with ridge (setae e associated with well-developed oblique ridges in P. tenuisetus), pump 3 of pharyngeal system reduced (pump3 of pharyngeal system ovate in P. novaezealandicus and P. tenuisetus), seta ps1 two times longer than ps2 (seta ps1 and ps2 subequal in P. novaezealandicus), seta ps3 longer than ps1 and seta ps1 longer than ps2 (setae ps3 and ps1 subequal and longer than seta ps2 in P. tenuisetus), posterior border of tergites C and D with distinct median incision (posterior border of tergites C and D straight in P. novaezealandicus and P. tenuisetus).

Type material — Female holotype (VRSS-20190812-1) and 5 female paratypes, in a vial containing Lucanus ibericus Motschulsky, 1845 (Col.: Lucanidae). The hosts were captured by a light trap from Alangdareh forest, with Hornbeam trees (Carpinus spp.) and Oak trees (Quercus spp.), Gorgan town, Golestan province, northern Iran, 36.46°N, 54.26°E, altitude, 408 m., coll. V. Rahiminejad, 12 August 2019.

Etymology — The name of the new species refers to its sampling site, the city of Gorgan, northern Iran.

Genus Neomicrodispus Hajiqanbar & Hosseininaveh, 2014

Type species: Neomicrodispus iranicus Hajiqanbar & Hosseininaveh, 2014, by original designation.

Type species along with N. sibiriensis Khaustov, 2018, constitute the genus (Hajiqanbar and Hosseininaveh 2014; Khaustov 2018).

Neomicrodispus lucani Rahiminejad & Seyedein sp. nov.

ZOOBANK: AC91F8E7-794C-4C96-B19C-97A7FD76E88C

(Figures 4–6)

Diagnosis — The new species is characterized by having all dorsal setae pointed and sparsely barbed; setae 4a absent; setae cha and m subequal; setae e and h2 subequal; setae ps1 and ps3 subequal and two times longer than ps2.

DescriptionFemale. Length of body (including gnathosoma) 182 (175–184), width 98 (94–103).

Gnathosoma (Figs 4A & B) – Length of gnathosoma 23 (22–23), width 15 (14–15); without dorsal median apodeme; cheliceral setae cha 11 (10–12) smooth and pointed; postpalpal setae (pp) 3 (3) needle-like, located laterad bases of cha. Setae dFe 7 (6–7) and dGe 4 (3–4) smooth, pointed, dFe longer than dGe; subcapitular setae m 10 (10–11) smooth and pointed; accessory setigenous structure indiscernible; pharyngeal pump system (Fig. 4C) with three pumps, second pharyngeal pump large, subrectangular and transversely striated, pharyngeal pumps 1 and 3 reduced and bow-shaped; pharyngeal pump 1 clearly separated from pharyngeal pump 2.

Figure 4. Neomicrodispus lucani sp. nov., female. A – body in dorsal view, B – body in ventral view, C – Pharyngeal system.

Idiosomal dorsum (Fig. 4A) – Body oval; prodorsum only slightly covered by anterior part of tergite C; oval stigmata and related tracheal trunks visible; trichobothria with long stem, clavate, weakly barbed, with two short apical projections; seta sc2 24 (23–27), barbed; idiosomal length 155 (147–158); posterior margins of tergites C, D, EF and H tanned and with row of U-shaped elevations; all dorsal hysterosomal setae sparsely barbed and pointed; tergite C with two pairs of setae c1 38 (36–39) and c2 38 (35–39), setae c1 and c2 subequal; tergite D with setae d 40 (36–41), cupuli ia indiscernible; tergite EF with two pairs of setae e 17 (17–18) and f 39 (37–41), bases of setae e not associated with ridges and one pair of round porous areas situated besides of the base of setae e, distance e-f subequal to f-f; tergite H with setae h1 31 (29–32), h2 16 (15–16), cupuli ih round and placed posteriad seta h2; all dorsal setae extended from posterior border of their tergites. Distances between dorsal setae: sc2sc2 33 (30–34), c1c1 29 (28–32), c2c2 74 (70–77), c1c2 21 (20–23), dd 20 (18–21), ee 61 (59–66), ef 19 (18–21), ff 21 (20–22), h1h1 32 (30–33), h2h2 51 (50–53), h1h2 9 (9–10).

Idiosomal venter (Figs. 4B) – All apodemes (ap1 to ap4, apsej, appr and appo well developed, except ap5, absent; ap3 extending beyond bases of setae 3a; ap4 reach to bases of setae 3b; ventral plates smooth. All ventral setae pointed and weakly barbed except smooth 4b; setal formula of coxal fields: 2,2,3,2; setae 1b and 2a subequal, setae 2b longest on anterior sternal plate; setae 3a and 3b subequal and longer than 3c; setae 4a absent and setae 4b longest setae on ventral plates; posterior part of poststernal plate tanned and with U-shaped elevations; posterior margin of aggenital plate almost straight; anterior genital sclerite (ags) small, bell-like and posterior genital sclerite (pgs) bow-shape; setae ps1–3 smooth. Lengths of ventral setae: 1a 23 (21–23), 1b 12 (11–13), 2a 12 (10–12), 2b 32 (31–32), 3a 23 (21–25), 3b 20 (19–21), 3c 12 (12–13), 4b 42 (40–45), 4c 30 (29–32), ps1 8 (7–10), ps2 4 (4–5), ps3 8 (7–10).

Figure 5. Neomicrodispus lucani sp. nov., female. A – leg I, B – leg II.

Figure 6. Neomicrodispus lucani sp. nov., female. A – leg III, B – leg IV.

Legs (Figs 5 & 6) – Leg I (Fig. 5A). Setal formula: (number of solenidia in parentheses): Tr1–Fe3–Ge4–TiTa15 (3). Tibiotarsus with five eupathidial setae tc', tc'', ft', ft'' and p'', setae tc' shorter than tc'', setae pv', v', l'' and pl'' barbed, other leg setae smooth, solenidia ω1 9 (8–9) < φ1 7 (6–7) < φ2 3 (3–4), solenidion ω1 weakly clavate, longer than other solenidia, solenidion φ1 clubbed, solenidion φ2 baculiform; genu with setae v' and v'' barbed and subequal to l'' and shorter than l'; femur with setae d barbed and longer than subequal v'' and l'; seta v' on trochanter shortest setae of leg. Leg II (Fig. 5B). Setal formula: Tr1–Fe3–Ge3–Ti4(1)–Ta6(1). Tarsus with setae tc'' and u' smooth and subequal, other setae of segment barbed, solenidion ω 8 (7–8) digitiform; all setae on tibia barbed except smooth d, setae d shorter than other tibial setae, solenidion φ 4 (3–4) digitiform; genu with setae v' barbed and longer than setae l'' and l'; all setae on femur smooth, setae l' and v'' subequal and distinctly shorter than seta d; seta v' on trochanter barbed and longer than v' of genu. Leg III (Fig. 6A). Setal formula: Tr1–Fe2–Ge2–Ti4(1)–Ta6. All setae on tarsus smooth except barbed pv'; all setae on tibia subequal and barbed except smooth d, solenidion φ 3 (3–4) weakly clavate; genu with setae v' and l' subequal, seta v' barbed; seta v' on femur barbed and subequal with smooth v'; trochanter with seta v' smooth and longer than v' on femur. Leg IV (Fig. 6B). Setal formula: Tr1–Fe2–Ge1–Ti3–Ta6. Longer than other legs. Tarsus with setae u', pv' and tc' barbed, seta pl'' shortest and tc' longest setae of segment; all setae on tibia barbed except smooth l', seta d longest on segment; pore-like structure visible below base of seta d; genu with seta v' barbed; femur with seta d more than twice longer than v', both barbed; seta v' on trochanter smooth and slightly longer than femoral seta v'.

Male and larva. Unknown.

Differential diagnosis — The new species can be distinguished from N. sibiriensis by the absence of setae 4a (present in N. sibiriensis). Also N. lucani sp. nov. differs from N. iranicus by seta cha and m subequal (seta cha two times longer than m in N. iranicus), seta e and h2 subequal (seta e more than 1.5 times longer than h2 in N. iranicus), setae ps1 and ps3 subequal and two times longer than ps2 (setae ps1-3 subequal in N. iranicus).

Type material — Female holotype (VRSS-20190705-8) and three female paratypes, in the vial containing Lucanus ibericus Motschulsky, 1845 (Col.: Lucanidae). The hosts captured by a light trap from Alangdareh forest, with Hornbeam trees (Carpinus spp.) and Oak trees (Quercus spp.), Gorgan town, Golestan province, northern Iran, 36.46°N, 54.26°E, altitude, 408 m., coll. V. Rahiminejad, 5 July 2019.

Etymology — The name of the new species refers to generic name of the host beetle, Lucanus.

Remark — This is the first record of association between Neomicrodispus mites and lucanid beetles. Previously, N. iranicus was found in a vial containing beetle Oryctes nasicornis (L.) (Col.: Scarabaeidae) in northern Iran and N. sibiriensis collected from a decaying tree stump in Western Siberia, Russia.

Discussion

Stag beetles (Col.: Lucanidae) with about 1700 species, have a worldwide distribution (Bartolozzi et al. 2014). Ten species of lucanid beetles are listed for the arthropod fauna of Iran and it seems that Lucanus ibericus is the dominant lucanid beetle in northern Iran. This beetle feeds for several (3–7) years on decaying wood of stumps and roots in its larval stage, and the adults are related with leaves, litter and trees, therefore, it could be possible that the beetles had a close association with wide range of mites in soil or on the trees (Walter et al. 2009; Harvey et al. 2011; Okabe et al. 2012; Bartolozzi et al. 2014). Mite fauna associated with Lucanidae is poorly studied. Hitherto, three orders of mites (Mesostigmata, Trombidiformes and Sarcoptiformes) have been found to be associated with the beetles (Haitlinger 2008; Walter et al. 2009). Until now, nine species belonging to five genera and two families of Heterostigmata have been recorded as phoretic on three different species of lucanid beetle, L. ibericus, Dorcus parallelipipedus (L.) and D. parallelus (Say, 1823) (Table 1).

Table 1. List of heterostigmatic mites associated with stag beetles.

As N. iranicus was collected from Oryctes nasicornis (Scarabaeidae), N. sibiriensis extracted from a decaying stump and N. lucani sp. nov. found in association with L. ibericus, it seems that a range of arthropods that dwell in decaying wood habitats could be chosen as a hosts for Neomicrodispus mites. However, more investigations on the biology and life history of Neomicrodispus can clear the nature of the associations.

Presently, the genus Neomicrodispus includes three described species based only on females that could be separated by the following key.

1. Setae e shorter than f; setae ps1 and ps3 subequal and two times longer than ps2
...... N. lucani Rahiminejad & Seyedein sp. nov.

— Setae e and f subequal; setae ps1, ps2 and ps3 subequal
...... 2

2. Seta 4a present, dorsal hysterosomal setae longer (d 40, f 42, h1 35)
...... N. sibiriensis Khaustov, 2018

— Seta 4a absent, dorsal hysterosomal setae relatively shorter (d 30, f 32, h1 23)
...... N. iranicus Hajiqanbar & Hosseininaveh, 2014

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our thanks to Professor A.A. Khaustov (Tyumen State University, Russia) for his valuable comments. Also, we appreciate Gorgan University of Agricultural Science and Natural Resource for all the support.



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    Article editorial history
    Date received:
    2020-05-02
    Date accepted:
    2020-08-11
    Date published:
    2020-09-02

    Edited by:
    Baumann, Julia

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    2020 Seyedein, Sarina; Rahiminejad, Vahid and Nadimi, Ahmad
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