1✉ Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Al-Baath University, P.O. Box 77, Al- Sham St., Homs, Syria.
2Entomology Research Laboratory, University of Vermont, 661 Spear Street, Burlington, Vermont 05405-0105, USA.
3Entomology Research Laboratory, University of Vermont, 661 Spear Street, Burlington, Vermont 05405-0105, USA.
2022 - Volume: 62 Issue: 1 pages: 12-21https://doi.org/10.24349/2y2g-zk3m
With more than 2500 valid species, the family Phytoseiidae (Acari: Mesostigmata) is the most common and the widespread predatory mite family inhabiting plants, all over the world (Demite et al. 2021). They are widely studied due to their important role as biocontrol agents of phytophagous mites and other small arthropods such as thrips and whiteflies (McMurtry and Croft 1997; McMurtry et al. 2013). Phytoseiid mite fauna has been poorly investigated in Syria. As of 2011, only six species were known that follows Euseius scutalis (Athias-Henriot), Neoseiulus fallacis (Garman), Typhlodromus (Typhlodromus) pyri Scheuten and T. (T.) cotoneastri Wainstein were recorded in previous studies (Al-Abdulla 2001; Kerheili 2009), and Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) porathi Swirski & Amitai and Eharius hermonensis Amitai & Swirski listed in the world catalog of this family (Moraes et al. 2004). The number of recorded phytoseiid species has progressively increased since 2011 and reached 27 especially from citrus orchards as well as natural vegetation (Barbar 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018; Ebraheem et al. 2022).
The goal herein was to identify Phytoseiidae species occurring on some natural vegetation in Latakia governorate in 2020 and 2021 and to tabulate all phytoseiid taxa reported from Syria.
Surveys were conducted on 16 March, 14 and 23 April 2020, and on 20 April 2021. Phytoseiid mites were collected from soil litter and from leaves of wild vegetation at three different sites in Latakia governorate, Syria: Attabiyyat (35°30′24″ N, 35°46′49″ E); Alhafah (35°60′21″ N, 36°11′50″ E); Slanfeh (35°60′70″ N, 36°22′17″ E). Mites were removed from leaves using the ''dipping-checking-washing-filtering'' method (Boller 1984). For collecting mites from litter, materials were placed on a sieve (with 5 mesh/cm) and shaken over a black plastic sheet (1.5 m2). Fallen mites were hand picked off sheet into a vial with 70% alcohol. Mites were then mounted on slides in Hoyer's medium, and then dried in an oven at 40 °C for three days. The specimens were examined using an Olympus® CH20 microscope at 400 and 1000 X magnification. Measurements were made using the scale of a reticule installed on the eyepiece lens, provided in micrometres (μm) and presented with the mean followed by the range in parenthesis. Mite body parts were documented, when necessary, using a mobile phone camera (13 megapixels) fixed on the eyepiece lens and images were transferred to the professional quality vector graphics software (Inkscape ® 0.92) which was installed on a computer for actual drawing.
The generic and subgeneric concepts used in this paper follow those of Chant and McMurtry (2007). Morphological characteristics were compared with original descriptions or re-descriptions. The setal nomenclature system adopted was that of Lindquist and Evans (1965) and Lindquist (1994) as adapted by Rowell et al. (1978) and Chant and Yoshida-Shaul (1992) for the dorsum, and by Chant and Yoshida-Shaul (1991) for the venter. The notation for solenostomes and poroids is based on Athias-Henriot (1975). Numbers of teeth on the fixed and movable cheliceral digits do not include the respective apical hook (Kreiter et al. 2021). The specimens were deposited in the Arthropod Collection of the Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Al-Baath University, Homs, Syria.
A total of nine phytoseiid mite species had been found during the present study, all presented thereafter. This result increases the number of known Syrian phytoseiid to 32 species (Table 1), of which five species are recorded for the first time from Syria and three of them were measured as they constitute the second international record.
Specimens collected — Attabiyyat: 15 ♀♀ and one ♂ on Marrubium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae), 23 April 2020.
Remarks — This is the first record of this species from Syria. It has been observed in some Mediterranean countries, Iran, and USA (Demite et al. 2021).
Specimens collected — Alhafah: five ♀♀ and two ♂♂ on Marrubium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae), 20 April 2021.
Female (n = 5).
Dorsum — Length of dorsal shield 305 (280–322), width (at level of s4) 122 (120–126). Setae r3, Z4 and Z5 knobbed apically. Measurements of dorsal setae as follows: j1 12 (12–13), j3 29 (28–31), j4 19 (17–20), j5 (15), j6 16 (15–18), J2 18 (17–20), J5 6 (5–7), z2 29 (29–30), z4 36 (34–37), z5 15 (15–16), Z1 25 (24–26), Z4 30 (30–31), Z5 35 (30–40), s4 35 (34–36), S2 29 (29–30), S5 9 (8–10), r3 32 (29–35) and R1 17 (15–20).
Peritreme — Short, reaching to level of z4.
Venter — Distances between st1– st1 44 (40–49), st2–st2 52 (48–56), st3–st3 59 (58–61), st1–st3 73 (70–76), st4–st4 69 (68–70), st5–st5 46 (42–50). Length of ventrianal shield 88 (77–98), width at level of ZV2 40 (38–42), width at level of anus 51 (50–52). Setae JV5 13 (13–14).
Chelicera — Fixed digit 23 (22–25) long with two teeth and pilus dentilis; movable digit 19 (18–20) long without teeth.
Spermatheca — Calyx cup-shaped 4 (4–6) in length.
Legs — Length of legs (basis of coxae to basis of claws): leg I 230 (220–239); leg II 175 (170–179); leg III 164 (157–172); leg IV 203 (200–207). Leg IV without macrosetae.
Dorsal setal pattern 10A:8C (r3 and R1 on shield). Dorsal shield oval, sclerotized, smooth, with three pairs of solenostomes (gd2, gd6 and gd9) and ten pairs of poroids (id2, id5, id6, idm1, idm2, idm3, idm4, idm5, idm6 and idl1). All dorsal setae smooth except for Z5 which is slightly serrated. Setae r3, Z4 and Z5 knobbed apically, others are pointed.
Dorsum — (Figure 1). Length of dorsal shield (266–285), width (138–145). Measurements of dorsal setae of the two specimens as follows: j1 (12–15), j3 (20–23), j4 (15), j5 (10–13), j6 (13–15), J2 (13–14), J5 (5), z2 (20–24), z4 (25–27), z5 (10–12), Z1 (18), Z4 (21), Z5 (25–30), s4 (25–27), S2 (20–21), S5 (10–11), r3 (18–20) and R1 (12–15).
Peritreme — (Figure 1). Longer than that of female and reaches to level between seta r3 and z4.
Venter — (Figure 2). Ventral setal pattern 11, JV-3, 4:ZV-1, 3. Sternogenital shield smooth, with five pairs of setae (st1-st5) and three pairs of poroids. Distances between st1–st1 (43–45), st2–st2 (43–45), st3–st3 (44–50), st4–st4 (47–44), st5–st5 (32), st1–st5 (110). Ventrianal shield subtriangular, with few reticulations, three pairs of setae (JV1, JV2, and ZV2) and one pair crateriform gv3 posterior to JV2 setae. Length of ventrianal shield (105), width at level of ZV2 (102–116), width at level of anus (63–74). Setae JV5 (7–9). All ventral setae smooth.
Chelicera — (Figure 3A). Fixed digit (18–19) long with two teeth and pilus dentilis; movable digit (16–17) long without teeth.
Spermatodactyl — (Figure 3A). L-shaped, shaft 16 long, heel round, foot 7–9 long, with rounded toe.
Legs — (Figure 3B). Length of legs (basis of coxae to basis of claws): leg I (218–223); leg II (168–170); leg III (150–161); leg IV (218–219). GeII, GeIII and GeIV with eight, seven and seven setae, respectively; leg IV without macrosetae.
Remarks — This is the second international record of this species. Morphological characteristics of the Syrian female specimens are very close to those in the original description except for seta (j6) which is longer (15–18) in Syrian specimens (vs. shorter 9–11 in the original description) (Döker 2018). However, this seta could be wrongly measured considering the scale accompanied the illustration in the original description.
Specimens collected — Attabiyyat: ten ♀♀ females on Salvia fruticosa Miller (Lamiaceae), 14 April 2020.
Female (n = 8).
Dorsum — Length of dorsal shield 348 (327–372), width (at level of s4) 195 (190–202). Measurements of dorsal setae: j1 27 (26–29), j3 42 (40–45), j4 19 (17–23), j5 17 (15–18), j6 17 (15–19), J2 18 (16–19), J5 10 (9–11), z2 40 (37–42), z4 45 (42–50), z5 16 (15–18), Z1 19 (18–21), Z4 64 (61–68), Z5 79 (75– 83), s4 63 (60–67), S2 50 (49–52), S4 24 (22–27), S5 16 (13–20), r3 40 (38–43), and R1 32 (30–34).
Peritreme — Long, extending to level setae j1.
Venter — Distances between st1–st1 59 (58–61), st2–st2 71 (70–72), st3–st3 81 (78–84), st1–st3 66 (65–69), st4–st4 77 (75–80), st5–st5 65 (60–70). Ventrianal shield reticulated with three pairs of pre-anal setae (JV1, JV2, and ZV2), and with a pair of small solenostomes (gv3) [distance gv3–gv3 38 (35–42)]. Length of ventrianal shield 125 (118–132), width at level of ZV2 100 (94–106), width at level of anus 80 (75–85). Setae JV5 66 (63–70).
Chelicera — Fixed digit 32 (32–34) long with three teeth and pilus dentilis; movable digit 31 (30–32) long with one tooth.
Spermatheca — As described by Döker et al. (2019), 21 (19–23) in length.
Legs — Measurements of macrosetae on leg IV as follows: SgeIV 50 (46–55), StiIV 36 (32–42) and StIV 74 (71–77).
Remarks — This is the second international record of this species. Morphological characteristics of the Syrian specimens are very close to those in the original description (Döker et al. 2019). A single female of this species has been previously collected from Syria in 2013 and has been identified as Graminaseius graminis (Chant) (Barbar 2013). This misidentification was due to the lack of enough specimens to check. According to the paper of Döker et al. (2019), G. recebi could be differentiated from G. graminis by having several longer dorsal setae (i.e. j4, j5, j6, J2, z2, z4, z5, Z1, S2, and S4) and more teeth on fixed digit (four teeth). Consequently, all the specimens collected from Syria are G. recebi, even if the maximum and /or the minimum lengths of setae mentioned above are slightly out of the range of setae given in the original description of G. recebi (Döker et al. 2019) and fewer teeth on fixed digit (three teeth in Syrian specimens vs. four teeth in G. recebi).
Specimens collected — Attabiyyat: one ♀ from ground litter under Pinus halepensis Miller (Pinaceae), 16 March 2020; Slanfeh: one ♀ on Centaurea calcitrapa L. (Asteraceae), 20 April 2021.
Female (n = 2).
Dorsum — Length of dorsal shield (333–350), width (distance between bases of s4) (163–185). Measurements of dorsal setae as follows: j1 (14–15), j3 (27–28), j4 (16–18), j5 17, j6 17, J2 18, J5 (12–14), z2 (21–23), z4 26, z5 16, Z1 25, Z4 (42–48), Z5 64, s4 (36–38), S2 (34–35), S4 (31–34), S5 (23–25), r3 (22–25) and R1 (21–22).
Peritreme — Extending to level of setae j1.
Venter — Distances between st1–st1 55, st2–st2 (64–67), st3–st3 (72–73), st1–st3 (65–68), st4–st4 (65–68), st5–st5 (62–68). Ventrianal shield pentagonal, with three pairs of pre-anal setae (JV1, JV2 and ZV2), and one pair of small solenostomes posteromedian to JV2. Length of ventrianal shield (114–118), width at level of ZV2 106, width at level of anus (85–87). Setae JV5 (45–55) in length.
Chelicera — Fixed digit (32–33) long with four teeth and pilus dentilis; movable digit (29–31) long with one tooth.
Spermatheca — As described by Döker et al. (2014), 20 in length.
Legs — Measurement of the macroseta on leg IV, StIV (68–75).
Remarks — This is the second international record of this species. Morphological characteristics of the Syrian specimens fit well with those in the original description (Döker et al. 2014).
Specimens collected — Alhafah: six ♀♀ on Quercus calliprinos Webb (Fagaceae), 20 April 2021.
Remarks — This is the first record of this species from Syria. It was recorded in several European countries and found also in Iran (Demite et al. 2021).
Specimens collected — Slanfeh: one ♀ on Primula vulgaris Hudson (Primulaceae), 20 April 2021. This species has already been observed in several apple orchards in Syria (Al-Abdulla 2001; Kerheili 2009).
Specimens collected — Slanfeh: two ♀♀ on Juniperus oxycedrus L. (Cupressaceae), one ♀ on Pinus halepensis Miller (Pinaceae), and one ♀ on Quercus calliprinos Webb (Fagaceae), 20 April 2021; Alhafah: three ♀♀ on P. halepensis, 20 April 2021.
Remarks — This species has already been observed on P. halepensis at Borj-Islam in Latakia governorate (Syria) (Barbar 2018).
Specimens collected — Slanfeh: three ♀♀ on Quercus calliprinos Webb (Fagaceae), and three ♀♀ on Primula vulgaris Hudson (Primulaceae), 20 April 2021; Alhafah: two ♀♀ on Marrubium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae), 20 April 2021.
Remarks — This species has already been observed on apple in the south of Syria (Al-Abdulla et al., 2020) and also on Castanea sp., P. halepensis in Hama governorate (Ebraheem et al., 2022).
Specimens collected — Attabiyyat: 12 ♀♀ and two ♂♂ on Marrubium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae), 23 April 2020; Slanfeh: one ♀ on Centaurea calcitrapa L. (Asteraceae), 20 April 2021.
Remarks — This species has already been observed on several host plants in Latakia governorate (Barbar 2013). Ventrianal shield of one collected female is abnormal by having only three pairs of ventrianal setae JV1, JV2 and JV3, and seta ZV3 is absent in the left side, (Figure 4).
The authors thank Serge Kreiter and Marie-Stéphane Tixier for their valuable comments during identification of species; also Mohamed W. Negm for supplying descriptions of some species.