2.2.2. New tarsonemid mite associations

Other mites in the family Tarsonemidae have been reported in association with Apis bees. Tarsonemus apis was reported on Apis spp. by Rennie (1921) and Pseudacarapis indoapis was reported on Apis cerana Fabricius by Lindquist (1986).  In 2003, Ochoa et al. reported a new mite, Pseudacarapis trispicula (Fig. 4), collected from the comb of live A. mellifera in Mexico. Females of P. trispicula are similar in size (length 173-214 µm, width 85-93 µm) to Acarapis mites. Studies in India found P. indoapis was only associated with colonies of A. cerana in areas where colonies of A. mellifera were also present (Sumangala, 1999; Sumangala and Haq, 2001). Abou-Senna (1997) reported the presence of P. indoapis on A. mellifera in Egypt. However, based on the information and drawing by Abou-Senna (1997), Ochoa et al. (2003) considered this association and the identification of the mite incorrect. The males, immatures and the feeding habits of P. indoapis have been described by Sumangala and Haq (2002), while males, immatures, and the feeding behaviour of P. trispicula remain unknown. Recently, P. indoapis were reported from both A. cerana and A. mellifera from Vanuatu and from China (Q-H Fan and S George, pers. comm. 2013; see Fig. 4B).

Fig. 4. Pseudoacarapis trispicula on Apis mellifera. Photo: R Ochoa (400×).