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A new species of Proprioseiopsis (Mesostigmata, Phytoseiidae), with a dichotomous key to reported species from Egypt

Abo-Shnaf, Reham 1 and Zaki, Ayman Y. 2

1✉ Vegetable and Aromatic Plant Mites Department, Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, 12611 Dokii, Giza, Egypt.
2Vegetable and Aromatic Plant Mites Department, Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Centre, 12611 Dokii, Giza, Egypt.

2022 - Volume: 62 Issue: 2 pages: 352-358
ZooBank LSID: ADD0ECCC-07D3-4017-A519-DD9C0B52F623

Original research


predators systematics morphology ornamental plants biological control


This paper deals with the description of Proprioseiopsis salviae n. sp. (Acari: Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae) on the basis of adult females and male. The new mite species was collected from the soil underneath some ornamental plants, at Orman Botanical Garden, Giza governorate, Egypt. Mites were extracted using Modified Tullgren funnel and mounted on microscope glass-slides on Hoyer’s medium for identification. A key to the identification of Egyptian species of Proprioseiopsis is provided.


Family Phytoseiidae Berlese (Mesostigmata) comprises of about 2,880 described species (Demite et al. 2014, 2022). Species in the family are extensively studied because of their potential as biological control agents for several pests (Denmark et al. 1999; Gerson et al. 2003; McMurtry et al. 2013, 2015). The possibility to determine potential phytoseiid species in the pest control programs, it is necessary to determine their diversity.

Genus Proprioseiopsis Muma include 165 described species from different habitats (McMurtry et al. 2015; Demite et al. 2022). Nine species of Proprioseiopsis were reported from Egypt including the one herein described (Nasr and Abou-Awad 1985; Zaher 1986; El-Halawany and Abdel-Samad 1990; Basha and Yousef 2000; Abo-Shnaf and Moraes 2014; Abo-Shnaf et al. 2019). The objective of the current work is to describe a new species of Proprioseiopsis collected at Orman Botanical Garden, Giza governorate, Egypt and give a key to all Egyptian species of genus Proprioseiopsis.

Material and methods

Mite samples were collected from soil underneath different ornamental plants at Orman Botanical Garden, Giza governorate, Egypt. The samples were kept in polyethylene bags and transferred to the laboratory for extraction by Modified Tullgren funnel (Krantz and Walter 2009). The collected mites were mounted on microscopic slides using Hoyer's medium and labelled with all required information for later examination. The slides were dried at (40–50°C) for two weeks. Mite specimens were examined using a phase contrast (Olympus, BHA) microscope. Taxonomically important structures were illustrated with the help of a drawing attachment. Illustrations were prepared by using the Adobe Illustrator® program. The measurements were taken with a graded eyepiece and given in micrometers (μm), representing the average followed by the respective ranges in parentheses. The values shown as widths of the dorsal shield refer to maximum widths (posterior to the level of setae s4). The indicated numbers of teeth on the chelicera do not include the apical hook of the respective digit. Identification was done according to Chant and McMurtry (1994, 2007) for taxonomy of Phytoseiidae concepts. Setal nomenclature follows that of Rowell et al. (1978) and Chant and Yoshida-Shaul (1991) for dorsal and ventral surfaces of the idiosoma, respectively. The idiosomal setal pattern follows that of Chant and Yoshida-Shaul (1992). The notation for solenostomes and poroids is based on Athias-Henriot (1975). Coordinates provided were taken at the time the samples were collected. Key to Egyptian species is based on the keys provided by Chant and McMurtry (1994, 2007); Abo-Shnaf and Moraes (2014); and Abo-Shnaf et al. (2019).

Results and discussion


Subtribe Proprioseiopsina Chant & McMurtry

Proprioseiopsina Chant & McMurtry 2004: 219; 2007: 85.

Genus Proprioseiopsis Muma

Proprioseiopsis Muma 1961: 277.

Proprioseiopsis salviae n. sp.


(Figures 1–2)

Diagnosis — Seta Z4 longer than Z5; seta S2 < S4 < S5, seta S4 about 1.4 times as long as S5; calyx of spermatheca saccular; genital shield broad, with posterior margin truncate; ventrianal shield longer than wide; genu I without macroseta, genu II with seven setae; fixed cheliceral digit with seven teeth, movable digit with one tooth.

Female (Five specimens measured, Figs. 1 a–e)

Figure 1. Proprioseiopsis salviae n. sp. holotype female. a – Dorsal shield, b – Ventral shields, c – Spermathecae, d – Chelicera, e – Genu, tibia and basitarsus of leg IV.

Dorsum (Fig. 1a) – Dorsal shield with few lateral striae anteriad z4, smooth elsewhere, where muscle marks are more evident; 370 (352–397) long and 287 (265–311) wide; with 16 pairs of setae and two pairs of sub-lateral setae (r3 and R1), fifteen pairs of poroids and six pairs of solenostomes (gd1, gd2, gd4, gd5, gd6, gd9). Length of dorsal setae: j1 36 (34–39), j3 66 (62–69), j4 11 (9–13), j5 9 (8–10), j6 17 (16–20), J5 10 (9–10), z2 50 (47–55), z4 30 (26–33), z5 9 (8–10), Z1 20 (18–22), Z4 88 (86–92), Z5 69 (68–70), s4 85 (83–87), S2 25 (23–29), S4 23 (22–25), S5 16 (14–19), r3 28 (23–33), R1 21 (18–23). All setae smooth, except Z4 and Z5, slightly serrated. Peritreme extending anteriorly to level of j1.

Venter (Fig. 1b) – Presternal area slightly striate. Sternal shield reticulate anterolateraly; smooth elsewhere, posterior margin slightly concave; with three pairs of setae (ST1-ST3) and two pairs of poroids (iv1 and iv2). Setae ST4 and poroid (iv3) situated on rounded metasternal platelets. Distances ST1-ST1 50 (47–51), ST2-ST2 76 (73–82), ST3-ST3 87 (85–90), ST4-ST4 84 (81–87), ST1-ST3 60 (58–64). Genital shield smooth with three pairs of muscle marks; distance ST5-ST5 97 (92–100). Ventrianal shield subpentagonal, reticulate; 119 (114–125) long, 116 (111–124) wide at ZV2 level and 111 (107–118) wide at anus level; with three pairs of pre-anal setae (JV1, JV2, and ZV2) and one pair of pre-anal round pores (gv3) posteromesad JV2. Seta JV5 71 (68–74). Ventral setae smooth. Two pairs of punctate metapodal plates present. With four transversely elongate punctate platelets between genital and ventrianal shields. Unsclerotized cuticle laterad and posteriad ventrianal shield with four pairs of distinguishable poroids.

Spermatheca (Fig. 1c) – Calyx of spermatheca saccular, flaring slightly toward vesicle, 23 (21–25) long; atrium forked, with long major duct.

Gnathosoma – Corniculi parallel to each other; about 18 (18–19) long, basal width of corniculus 4 (3–5), distance between tips of corniculi 10 (8–10). Fixed cheliceral digit 32 (31–33) long, with seven teeth; movable digit 30 (28–31) long, with one tooth; dorsal and antiaxial lyrifissures distinct (Fig. 1d).

Legs (Fig. 1e) – Macrosetae present only on leg IV, sharp-tipped: Sge IV 48, Sti IV 34 (33–35), St IV 80 (73–86); chaetotaxy of genu II 2, 2/0, 2/0, 1; genu III 1, 2/1, 2/0, 1.

Male (One specimen measured, Figs. 2 a–b)

Figure 2. Proprioseiopsis salviae n. sp. paratype male. a – Chelicera showing spermatodactyl, b – Ventrianal shield.

Dorsum – Dorsal shield pattern as in adult female, but differs in the number of setae; with 18 pairs of setae (r3 and R1 on dorsal shield); 287 long and 224 wide. Length of dorsal setae: j1 26, j3 (broken), j4 10, j5 9, j6 17, J5 9, z2 51, z4 38, z5 12, Z1 20, Z4 68, Z5 55, s4 59, S2 22, S4 18, S5 16, r3 13, R1 16. All setae smooth, except Z4 and Z5, slightly serrated. Peritreme extending anteriorly to level between j1 and j3.

Venter – Distances ST1-ST1 48, ST2-ST2 60, ST3-ST3 66, ST4-ST4 55, ST5-ST5 47, ST1-ST3 57, ST1-ST5 107. Ventrianal shield subtriangular, reticulate (Fig. 2a); 129 long and 155 wide at anterior corners; with three pairs of pre-anal setae, two pairs of poroids (ivo) and a pair of pre-anal pores (gv3). Seta JV5 35.

Gnathosoma – Corniculi parallel to each other; about 18 long, basal width of corniculus 3, distance between tips of corniculi 14. Fixed cheliceral digit 22 long, with six teeth; movable digit 21 long, with one tooth; dorsal and antiaxial lyrifissures distinct. Shaft of spermatodactyl 18 long with foot about 26 long, T-shaped toe and heel well developed (Fig. 2b).

Legs – Macrosetae sharp-tipped: Sge IV 34, Sti IV 23, St IV 39; chaetotaxy of genua II and III as in adult female.

Type specimens — Holotype female was collected from soil underneath Salvia splendens Sellow & Schultes (Lamiaceae), at Orman Botanical Garden (31°12′47.7468″E, 30°1′45.8148″N), Giza governorate, June 20, 2017, one paratype male was collected from soil underneath the same previous substrate and locality, May 23, 2017, one paratype female was collected from soil underneath Crinum asiaticum L. (Amaryllidaceae), at the same previous locality, April 04, 2017, one paratype female was collected from soil underneath Dimorphotheca ecklonis (De Candolle) (Asteraceae), at the same previous locality, June 05, 2017, one paratype female was collected from soil underneath Xerochrysum bracteatum (Ventenat) Tzelev (Asteraceae), at the same previous locality, May 15, 2017; all deposited at the mite reference collection of the Egyptian Society of Acarology Museum (ESAM), Zoology and Agricultural Nematology Department, the Faculty of Agriculture, Cairo University, Giza governorate, Egypt. One paratype female was collected from soil underneath Pelargonium x hortorum Bailey (Geraniaceae), at the same previous locality, May 23, 2017; deposited at the mite collections of L'institut Agro (Montpellier SupAgro) conserved in UMR CBGP INRAE/ IRD/ CIRAD/ SupAgro/ Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France.

Etymology — The epithet salviae refers to ''Salvia'' the genus of the host plant (Salvia splendens), from which the holotype female and paratype male were collected.

Remarks — This species belongs to belizensis species group as genu I has no macrosetae and to belizensis subgroup according to the form of calyx of spermatheca (Chand and McMurtry 2005). The new species closely resembles Proprioseiopsis basis Karg, 1994; P. belizensis (Yoshida-Shaul & Chant, 1991); P. mauiensis (Prasad, 1968); P. ovatus (Garman, 1958); P. putrephilus Meshkov, 1999 and P. rosellus (Chant, 1959). Important differences between these species and the new species are listed in Table (1).

Table 1. Differences between Proprioseiopsis salviae n. sp. and closer species of the ''belizensis species subgroup''.

Key to Proprioseiopsis species reported from Egypt

Proprioseiopsis kadii is not included in the current key due to impossibility to check its type specimen. This species is also quite similar to P. messor and we are not able to separate between them.

1. Seta Z4 longer than Z5
...... 2

— Seta Z4 shorter than Z5
...... 3

2. All dorsal setae smooth; seta z2 longer than z4
...... 6

— All lateral setae serrate except Z1 and S5, smooth; seta z2 shorter than z4
...... P. badryi (El-Borolossy)

3. Setae s4, Z4 and Z5 set on tubercles
...... P. sharkiensis Basha & Yousef

— Setae s4, Z4 and Z5 not set on tubercles
...... 4

4. Seta z2 longer than z4
...... 5

— Seta z2 about as long as z4
...... P. ismailiaensis Abo-Shnaf & Moraes

5. Spermatheca bell-shaped
...... P. messor (Wainstein)

— Spermatheca pocular
...... P. aegypticus Abo-Shnaf, Momen & Lamlom

6. Ratio z2/z4 about 1.9, setae j6 and S4 at most 13 and 18 μm, respectively, seta r3 off dorsal shield; atrium of spermatheca short, nodular
...... P. ovatus (Garman)

— Ratio z2/z4 less than 1.9, setae j6 and S4 more than 13 and 18 μm, respectively, seta r3 on/off dorsal shield; atrium of spermatheca long, forked
...... 7

7. Seta S4 about three times as long as S5, seta r3 on dorsal shield
...... P. gizaensis Abo-Shnaf, Hassan & Lamlom

— Seta S4 about 1.4 times as long as S5, seta r3 off dorsal shield
...... P. salviae n. sp.


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2022 Abo-Shnaf, Reham and Zaki, Ayman Y.
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