Hypoaspis (Gymnolaelaps) Berlese, 1916: 170, Berlese, 1916
Joharchi, Omid & Halliday, Bruce, 2013, A new species and new records of Gymnolaelaps Berlese from Iran (Acari: Laelapidae), with a review of the species occurring in the Western Palaearctic Region, Zootaxa 3646 (1), pp. 39-50: 40-46
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|Hypoaspis (Gymnolaelaps) Berlese, 1916: 170|
Type species Laelaps myrmecophilus Berlese, 1892 , by original designation.
Diagnosis. Laelapidae usually with a three-tined palp tarsal claw, proximal tine occasionally reduced, as in G. myrmophilus (Michael) , or absent, as in G. krantzi (Hunter) and G. obscuroides Costa; genito-ventral shield enlarged behind coxae IV and extended posteriorly, with one to three pairs of setae in addition to the genital setae st 5, all located on the edges of the shield; pre-sternal plates well-developed and sclerotised; a subtriangular exopodal plate usually present posterior to coxa IV, its texture the same as other ventral sclerites; epistome with irregularly serrated anterior margin. Genu IV usually with nine setae (2 2 / 1 3 /0 1), occasionally ten (2 2 / 1 3 /0 2 in G. laevis and G. zaheri ), always with only one ventral seta. Dorsal shield often with paired Zx setae between J and Z setae, unpaired Jx setae also often present medially between J 1 and J 3; dorsal shield setae distally pointed, smooth or slightly serrated, not long and whip-like.
Notes on the genus. Gymnolaelaps belongs to a group of genera of Laelapidae in which the genital shield of the female is large, so that its posterior margin abuts the anal shield. The large genito-ventral shield in these genera usually captures at least one to three pairs of opisthosomal setae in addition to the genital setae st 5. Gymnolaelaps is distinguished from Laelaspis by its three-tined palp tarsal claw (in most species), the presence of pre-sternal plates, and the absence of two distinct Λ-shaped lines on the genital shield. Gymnolaelaps differs from Pseudoparasitus because Pseudoparasitus has at least two pairs of setae on the surface of the genital shield, well inside the edges of the shield, while all the genital setae Gymnolaelaps and Laelaspis are on the extreme edges of the shield. Species in the genus Alloparasitus Berlese, 1920 also have an enlarged genito-ventral shield, but may be recognised by the elongate peritrematal shield that projects well beyond the posterior margin of coxa IV, and the presence of only eight setae on genu IV (Evans & Till, 1966). Joharchi et al. (2011) described two new species of Gymnolaelaps from Iran. We now provide further information on this genus, based on examination of recentlycollected or identified specimens.
Gymnolaelaps artavilensis sp. nov. (Figures 1–10)
Specimens examined. Holotype, female, Iran, Ardabil, 38 ˚ 15 ’ N, 48 ˚ 17 ’ E, alt. 1875 m, 3 August 2011, O. Joharchi coll., in nest of Pheidole pallidula ( Formicidae ) (in JAZM). Paratypes, eight females, two males, same data as holotype (four in JAZM, six in ANIC).
Dorsal idiosoma. Dorsal shield length 748–778 µm, width 550–580 µm (n = 7) (Fig. 1). Shield oval-shaped, lateral margins often bent to become visible ventrally; shield with weak reticulation throughout, more distinct in the opisthonotal section; with 40 pairs of long setae, 23 podonotal, including a supernumerary pair near r 4, 17 opisthonotal, including two pairs of Zx setae between J and Z setae, setae increasing in length from anterior to posterior, j 1 30–35 µm, j 6 101–114 µm, J 4 87–99 µm, length of other selected setae as in Table 1; most setae long enough to reach well past base of next posterior seta; all setae slightly serrated. Opisthonotal region also with one or two unpaired supernumerary seta Jx in each specimen. Shield with 13 pairs of pore-like structures, apparently including three pairs of gland pores (labelled g in Figure 1) and 10 pairs of poroids; lyrifissures near the base of j 1 large and slit-like, others smaller and ovoid to circular.
Ventral idiosoma (Fig. 2). Tritosternum with paired pilose laciniae (111–116 µm), columnar base 40–50 µm long (Fig. 5); pre-sternal plates with sclerotised postero-lateral section ornamented with one or two transverse lines, anteromedian section weakly sclerotised. Sternal shield (length 138–154 µm) narrowest between coxae II (154–158 µm), widest between coxae II and III (252–258 µm), with straight anterior margin and irregular posterior margin, with three pairs of smooth sternal setae (st 1 47–50 µm, st 2 45–50 µm, st 3 45–50 µm), one pair of lyrifissures adjacent to setae st 1, and a pair of poroids between st 2 and st 3; surface of sternal shield with weakly polygonal ornamentation. Metasternal platelets absent; setae st 4 (57–62 µm) and associated poroids located in soft integument; endopodal plates II/III fused to sternal shield, endopodal plates III/IV elongate, narrow, curved. Genital shield broad, length 376–386 µm, maximum width 242–252 µm, posterior edge straight, abutting anal shield, surface with polygonal ornamentation, bearing the genital setae st 5 (54–59 µm) and three additional pairs of setae on its lateral edges. Circular paragenital poroids located on soft integument near the edge of genital shield, between seta st 5 and a pair of minute narrow platelets. Anal shield subtriangular (114–128 µm × 164–174 µm wide), its anterior half with lineate ornamentation, with a pair of circular lateral gland pores, para-anal setae (32–37 µm) longer than unpaired post-anal seta (25–30 µm). Opisthogastric integument with one pair of oval metapodal plates (length 32–35 µm × 8–10 µm wide) and 11 pairs of smooth setae (Jv 1 64–77 µm, Jv 2 52–57 µm, Jv 3 30–37 µm, Zv 1 45–50 µm, Zv 2 33–37 µm, Zv 5 87–90 µm), and three pairs of poroids. Triangular podal shields present posterior to coxae IV, similar in texture and appearance to other ventral sclerites, a pair of minute irregular platelets present between the metapodal and exopodal plates behind coxa IV. Peritreme extending from coxa IV to mid level of coxa I, peritrematal shield wide, fused with dorsal shield anterior to seta r 2, with a slight swelling on its outer margin, post-stigmatal section conspicuous, with two pairs of post-stigmatal poroids close together near the posterior end of the shield, and one pair of small poroids just anterior to the stigmata.
Gnathosoma . Hypostomal groove with six rows of denticles each bearing 4–6 small teeth except fifth row with two large teeth, and a smooth anterior transverse line (Fig. 3). Corniculi robust and horn-like, reaching mid-level of palp femur. Internal malae complex, with three pairs of lobes, inner lobes narrow, with serrated edges, medial lobes slightly shorter than inner lobes, with strongly serrated edges, outer lobes long, narrow, pointed, with some serration at base of inner margin. Palp chaetotaxy: trochanter 2, femur 5, genu 6, tibia 14, tarsus 15, genu with a distinct dorso-distal triangular condyle, all setae smooth and needle-like, palp tarsal claw with three pointed tines of unequal length, proximal tine shortest. Epistome irregularly denticulate (Fig. 4). Fixed digit of chelicera with a small triangular tooth proximal to the pilus dentilis, four to six small median teeth, and one small distal tooth (Fig. 6), pilus dentilis moderately robust, dorsal seta short, thick, prostrate, movable digit with two large teeth, arthrodial membrane with a rounded flap and a row of short filaments.
FIGURES 1 – 7. Gymnolaelaps artavilensis sp. nov., female. 1. Dorsal shield; 2. Ventral idiosoma; 3. Hypostome; 4. Epistome; 5. Tritosternum; 6. Chelicera; 7. Femur and genu IV. x = supernumerary seta near r 4; g = gland pores.
FIGURES 8 – 10. Gymnolaelaps artavilensis sp. nov., male. 8. Ventral idiosoma; 9. Chelicera; 10. Femur, genu and tibia IV.
Legs. Legs II and III short (618–628 µm, 570–584 µm), I and IV longer (832–842 µm, 822–826 µm) (excluding pre-tarsus). Chaetotaxy normal for free-living Laelapidae : Leg I: coxa 0 0/ 1 0/ 1 0, trochanter 1 1 / 2 0/ 1 1, femur 2 3 / 2 2 / 2 2, genu 2 3 / 2 3 / 1 2, tibia 2 3 / 2 3 / 1 2. Leg II: coxa 0 0/ 1 0/ 1 0, trochanter 1 0/ 1 0/ 2 1, femur 2 3 / 1 2 / 2 1, genu 2 3 / 1 2 / 1 2, tibia 2 2 / 1 2 / 1 2. Leg III: coxa 0 0/ 1 0/ 1 0, trochanter 1 0/ 1 0/ 2 1, femur 1 2 /0 1 / 1 1, genu 2 2 / 1 2 / 1 1, tibia 2 1 / 1 2 / 1 1. Leg IV: 0 0/ 1 0/0 0, trochanter 1 0/ 1 0/ 2 1, femur 1 2 / 1 1 /0 1, genu 2 2 / 1 3 /0 1, tibia 2 1 / 1 3 / 1 2 (Fig. 7); all setae fine and needle-like. Tarsi I –IV with 18 setae 3 3 / 2 3 / 2 3 + mv, md. All pre-tarsi with a pair of claws and a long thin membranous ambulacrum.
Insemination structures. Not seen, apparently unsclerotised.
Male. Dorsal idiosoma. Dorsal shield length 668–694 µm, width at level of r 3 554–570 µm, structure and chaetotaxy as for female.
Ventral idiosoma (Fig. 8). Sternal, genital, endopodal, ventral and anal shields fused to form a holoventral shield with ten pairs of setae and four pairs of poroids, posterior section of the shield with strong polygonal ornamentation, antero-lateral surface with lineate ornamentation. Unpaired post-anal seta shorter than para-anal setae, cribrum small, anal gland pores not visible.
Gnathosoma . Movable digit of chelicera with one large tooth, spermatodactyl longer than movable digit, with broad and rounded tip and an apparently unsclerotised ventral section near its base, fixed digit with one large distal tooth and slender pilus dentilis (Fig. 9).
Legs. Chaetotaxy as in female, leg IV with two pointed and thickened spine-like setae on dorsal surface of femur (Fig. 10).
Etymology. The name of this species refers to the type locality, Ardabil (old Artavil). Notes. Gymnolaelaps artavilensis differs from all other species in the genus by having 40 pairs of long slightly serrated setae on the dorsal shield, with most setae long enough to reach well past the base of the next posterior seta. There are 23 pairs of podonotal setae including a supernumerary pair near r 4, and 17 opisthonotal pairs, including two pairs of Zx setae (px of Evans & Till, 1966) between the J and Z setae. All our specimens also have one or two unpaired supernumerary seta Jx.
Hypoaspis laevis .— Evans & Till, 1966: 220.
Specimens examined. Two females, Alborz, Karaj, 36 °03' N, 51 ° 24 E, alt. 1665 m, 7 June 2011, O. Joharchi coll., in nest of Tetramorium caespitum ; two females, Yazd, 31 ° 33 ' N, 54 ° 11 ' E, alt 1800 m, 12 March 2011, O. Joharchi coll., in nest of Tetramorium caespitum .
Notes. Gymnolaelaps laevis was described from Corsica (Michael, 1891), and has been recorded from Ukraine, Russia, west Kazakhstan, Turkmenia, western Europe (Bregetova, 1977), and England (Evans & Till, 1966). It has been found with several genera of ants, and is now recorded in Iran for the first time, from the same microhabitat. Our specimens agree very well with the description given by Evans & Till (1966). There are two postero-lateral setae on genu IV (2 2 / 1 3 /0 2), and the dorsal shield has 41 pairs of short pointed setae and six to eight unpaired supernumerary Jx setae. Evans & Till (1966) show a median notch in the anterior margin of the sternal shield, which is not present in our specimens.
Specimens examined. As previously (Joharchi et al., 2011), plus one female, Rodbar ghasran region (Shemiranat province), 2011, Z. Cheraghali coll., from soil and litter.
Hypoaspis myrmecophila .—Evans & Till, 1966: 214.
Hypoaspis near myrmecophila .—Haddad Irani-Nejad et al. 2003: 153. Hypoaspis (Gymnolaelaps) myrmecophilus .—Bregetova, 1977: 527. Gymnolaelaps myrmecophilus .—Dehghan et al. 2011: 16; Kazemi et al. 2011: 30. Pseudoparasitus (Gymnolaelaps) myrmecophilus .—Karg, 1978: 207; 1981: 218; 1989 a: 334. Pseudoparasitus myrmecophilus .—Jalalizand et al. 2004: 255.
Specimens examined. Two females, Alborz, Karaj, 35 ° 48 ' N, 50 ° 59 ', alt. 1384 m, 28 July 2011, O. Joharchi coll., in nest of Tetramorium caespitum ; two females, Rodbar ghasran region (Shemiranat province), 2011, Z. Cheraghali coll., from soil and litter.
Notes. Gymnolaelaps myrmecophilus was described from Italy (Berlese, 1892), and has been recorded from Europe (Bregetova, 1977; Karg, 1981, 1989 a) and England (Evans & Till, 1966). It has been found with several genera of ants. Haddad Irani-Nejad et al. (2003) reported a species referred to as Hypoaspis near myrmecophila from Iran. Haddad Irani-Nejad et al. (2003) state that this species appears to be intermediate between G.
myrmecophilus and G. myrmophila , but is more similar to G. myrmecophilus , especially in leg chaetotaxy. The identity of that species cannot be confirmed because the specimens have been destroyed. Jalalizand et al. (2004) reported Pseudoparasitus myrmecophilus collected from elm trees in Iran, but the identity of that species cannot be confirmed because those specimens also have been lost. We consider both of these records to refer to G. myrmecophilus . Dehghan et al. (2011) and Kazemi et al. (2011) collected G. myrmecophilus from the nests of unknown species of ants from Yazd province and the Gorgan region (northern Iran) respectively. We have examined these specimens and can confirm these identifications. Gymnolaelaps myrmecophilus is easily recognised by the single postero-lateral setae on genu IV, which is thicker than the other setae on this segment, and the presence of thick setae on femur I, femur IV, and tarsus II. There are 41 pairs of setae on the dorsal shield, including an extra pair of r setae and a pair of Zx setae, plus several unpaired setae in the J region.
Hypoaspis myrmophila .—Evans & Till, 1966: 218.
Specimens examined. Five females, Alborz, Savojbolagh, Taleghan, 36 ° 23 ' N, 50 ° 44 'E, alt 1409 m, 27 July 2011 O. Joharchi coll., in nest of Formica sp.
Notes. Gymnolaelaps myrmophila was described from Corsica (Michael, 1891), and has been recorded from Russia, Italy, Europe (Bregetova, 1977; Karg, 1981, 1989 a) and England (Evans & Till, 1966). Nemati et al. (2000) reported Pseudoparasitus (Gymnolaelaps) myrmophilus from Iran on the basis of specimens collected from the nest of Pheidole pallidula . We have not had the opportunity to examine any specimens to confirm this identification, but on the basis of the illustrations in Nemati (1999) and some unpublished photomicrographs and illustrations, we believe this was a misidentification of a species of Laelaspis . Dehghan et al. (2011) collected this species from unknown ants' nests from Yazd. We have examined that specimens and we confirm this identification. Gymnolaelaps myrmophila is easily recognised by the single postero-lateral setae on genu IV and 40 pairs of setae on the dorsal shield, including an extra pair of r setae. The dorsal shield, the sternal shield, and the neck of the epigynal shield between coxae IV are unusually wide.
Gymnolaelaps obscuroides (Costa)
Hypoaspis obscuroides Costa, 1968: 14.
Holostaspis obscuroides .—Ramezani & Nemati, 2010: 351.
Specimens examined. Five females, Shiraz, 27 August 2011, O. Joharchi coll., from litter.
Notes. Hypoaspis obscuroides was described from litter under trees in Israel (Costa, 1968). The species may be recognised by the very wide rounded genito-ventral shield abutting the anal shield, bearing only one pair of setae, a pair of opisthogastric setae in the soft integument between the genito-ventral and anal shields, the epistome smooth, two-tined palp tarsal claw, and genu IV with nine setae including one ventral seta. Ramezani & Nemati (2010) reported Holostaspis obscuroides from Iran collected from soil. We have not had the opportunity to examine any specimens to confirm this identification, but we now confirm the presence of this species in Iran on the basis of newly-collected material.
This species does not completely agree with our concept of the genus Gymnolaelaps . The palp tarsal claw has two tines instead of the usual three, but this state has occasionally been observed in other species of Gymnolaelaps (Hunter, 1967) . The pre-sternal plates are smaller than is usual for Gymnolaelaps , as are the podal plates around the posterior edge of coxa IV. The anterior margin of the epistome is serrated in other species of Gymnolaelaps , but smooth in G. obscuroides ; and the edges of the genito-ventral shield have only one pair of setae (st 5) instead of the usual 2–4 pairs. The edges of the genito-ventral shield in G. obscuroides are irregular, suggesting a secondary reduction in size in this species that has left two pairs of setae in the opisthogastric cuticle instead of on the edges of the shield. We provisionally place this species in Gymnolaelaps until a comprehensive revision of all these genera resolves its relationships.
Notes. Gymnolaelaps australicus was transferred to Laelaspis by Domrow (1957), apparently following unpublished advice from Womersley. We include a brief discussion of this species here because it has been reported from Iran in the subgenus Gymnolaelaps . Nemati et al. (2000) reported Pseudoparasitus (Gymnolaelaps) australicus from Iran on the basis of specimens collected from the nest of Pheidole pallidula . We have not had the opportunity to examine any specimens to confirm this identification, but on the basis of the illustrations in Nemati (1999) and some unpublished photomicrographs and illustrations of these specimens, we believe this was a misidentification of some unknown species of Laelaspis , because the genito-ventral shield has the double Λ-shaped lines of ornamentation that are characteristic of that genus. Nemati's species differs from L. australicus in a number of ways. For example, it has a much wider genitoventral shield than L. australicus , and it has about 45 pairs of setae on the dorsal shield, where L. australicus has 32. Jalalizand et al. (2004) reported Pseudoparasitus sp. near australicus collected from elm trees in Iran. We have not had the opportunity to examine those specimens, but we believe this too was a misidentified specimen of an unidentified species of Laelaspis . It seems clear that Laelaspis australicus does not occur in Iran.
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