7. Future research priorities
Much remains to be learnt about Tropilaelaps mites. The taxonomy of the genus is one area that has been relatively well studied, and it now seems to be well resolved. Given that each species is closely associated with a particular giant Asian bee species or sub-species, and that most of these bees have been examined for mites, it is unlikely that further species will be discovered. Nevertheless, more haplotypes of each species will undoubtedly be found, as has recently been demonstrated in China (Luo et al., 2011). With this in mind, the follow list highlights areas that warrant immediate research effort.
- Morphological descriptions of the different life stages of all species.
- Life habits and reproductive behaviour of all species on both their native and adopted hosts.
- Control of T. mercedesae and T. clareae on A. mellifera.
- Associations of microbial pathogens with T. mercedesae and T. clareae infestations on A. mellifera.
- Resistance (or tolerance) mechanisms of Asian bees to Tropilaelaps mites.
- Genomic sequence information on T. mercedesae and T. clareae.