Pseudoparasitus Oudemans

Joharchi, Omid, Halliday, Bruce, Saboori, Alireza & Kamali, Karim, 2011, New species and new records of mites of the family Laelapidae (Acari: Mesostigmata) associated with ants in Iran, Zootaxa 2972, pp. 22-36: 32

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Pseudoparasitus Oudemans


Genus Pseudoparasitus Oudemans 

Pseudoparasitus Oudemans, 1902: 29  . Type species Laelaps meridionalis  G. & R. Canestrini, 1882, by original designation.

Diagnosis. Palp tarsal claw with two large tines and a small third tine; exopodal plate behind coxa IV large and triangular, not fused with peritrematal shields; genital shield large, with 4–5 pairs of setae including two pairs on the surface of the shield; shield without strong Λ-shaped lines; anal shield free; distinct pre-sternal plates present; idiosomal setae usually smooth; chelicera of female chelate-dentate; genu and tibia I normally with three ventral setae, genu II with two ventral setae.

Notes on the genus. Unfortunately Oudemans (1902) did not provide a detailed description of Pseudoparasitus  or its type species. The type species, Laelaps meridionalis  G. & R. Canestrini, 1882, is very poorly known. The original description is brief, and both the description and illustrations lack some important details, especially concerning the setae on the genitoventral shield. The species has never been fully re-described, and the types have apparently been lost. The brief re-description and illustrations by Berlese (1886) are also very incomplete. Evans & Till (1966) considered that P. centralis Berlese, 1921  might be a synonym of P. meridionalis  . However, this seems unlikely, because the shape of the genitoventral shield in these two species is very different. The genitoventral shield in P. centralis  is very wide, with lateral edges that project beyond the outer margins of coxae IV. In P. meridionalis  , the genitoventral shield is much narrower, as Berlese specifically pointed out when he described P. centralis  . Our concept of the genus is based on that of Hunter (1966) and includes all of his species, except that we place Gymnolaelaps annectans Womersley, 1955  and Pseudoparasitus margopilus Hunter, 1966  in the genus Gymnolaelaps  , because all the genitoventral setae are on the extreme edges of the genitoventral shield. Pseudoparasitus  is distinguished from Gymnolaelaps  by the presence of two pairs of setae on the surface of the genital shield, well inside the edges of the shield. The differences between Gymnolaelaps  and the other genera discussed here are summarised in Table 1.

Pseudoparasitus  is a cosmopolitan genus of about 20 species ( Hunter, 1966; Evans & Till, 1966; Karg, 1981, 1989b). Species of Pseudoparasitus  are found in soil and litter, often associated with ornamental plants, and in that situation they have been intercepted in quarantine ( Hunter, 1966). Nemati et al. (2000) reported four named species from Iran under the name Pseudoparasitus  ( Gymnolaelaps  ). Of these, we consider that G. vitzthumi Womersley, 1956  is a species of Laelaspis  , and Hypoaspis hospes Berlese, 1923  , G. australicus Womersley, 1956  and Laelaps myrmophilus Michael, 1891  all belong to Gymnolaelaps  as a separate genus. Fathipour (1994) reported the Neotropical species P. porulatus Karg, 1989 b  from Iran, and this record was catalogued by Kamali et al. (2001). The description of this species in Fathipour (1994) refers to four pairs of setae on the genital shield, but the accompanying illustration shows only three. Unfortunately those specimens have now been lost, so these observations can not be confirmed. In view of the ambiguity in the description, we believe that record is probably a misidentification of some other species.












Pseudoparasitus Oudemans

Joharchi, Omid, Halliday, Bruce, Saboori, Alireza & Kamali, Karim 2011



Oudemans 1902: 29