Asperolaelaps Womersley, 1956,

Masan, Peter, 2017, A revision of the family Ameroseiidae (Acari, Mesostigmata), with some data on Slovak fauna, ZooKeys 704, pp. 1-228: 1

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Asperolaelaps Womersley, 1956


Genus Asperolaelaps Womersley, 1956 

Asperolaelaps  Womersley, 1956a: 534. Type species: Asperolaelaps rotundus  Womersley, 1956, by original designation.

Diagnosis (adults).

Soft striate integument delicately incrusted with sclerotic tubercles. Dorsal shield widely oval, not completely covering dorsal surface, reticulate or striate, with 6-7 pairs of distinct protuberances (each bearing a seta), and 29 pairs of setae differing in length and form; setae mounted on protuberances (z4, z5, s5, Z1, Z3, S5, and sometimes z2) markedly longer, thicker, and more heavily pilose than the other setae on the shield. Dorsal shield setae needle-like to lanceolate, smooth, pilose or serrate, the thicker setae densely plumose; sexual dimorphism of dorsal chaetotaxy not developed. In female, sternal setae on sternal shield (st1, st2), soft integument (st3, st4) and epigynal shield (st5). Female with anal shield bearing only three circum-anal setae, male with expanded ventrianal shield capturing some opisthogastric setae. Peritrematal shields and peritremes well developed: anterior end of peritremes reaching or overlapping bases of j1; in male, peritrematal shields well expanded beyond coxae IV and abutting the ventrianal shield. Opisthogastric soft integument with six pairs of setae in female. Corniculi stout, weakly sclerotised, well separate and parallel, with undivided apex having one or two denticles. In female, cheliceral shafts relatively elongate, slender; fixed digit with three prominent sharp teeth (two proximal teeth slightly separated from the other, medial tooth), and a special bilobed tooth close to terminal hook (Plate 76F); movable digit only with tiny subapical denticle; cheliceral digits almost straight, not conspicuously hooked distally, without hyaline petal-like appendages. Male spermatodactyl relatively short, directed forward. Palptarsal apotele three-tined. Tibia IV with two posterolateral setae. Tarsi I–IV each with well developed empodium and claws. Insemination apparatus with spermathecal ducts separated.


The genus Asperolaelaps  was proposed by Womersley (1956a), with Asperolaelaps rotundus  as its type species, but it has been considered a synonym of Neocypholaelaps  Vitzthum, 1942, for example by Domrow (1979), Halliday (1997), and Moraes and Narita (2010). Womersley (1956) originally placed it in the family Neoparasitidae  but Domrow (1979) re-examined the type species observing the normal complement of 29 pairs of dorsal shield setae instead of the reduced number illustrated by Domrow, and some further features typical of ameroseiid species.

In this paper, the genus is removed from synonymy with Neocypholaelaps  , re-diagnosed, and ressurected to accommodate one further species from Australasian Region, namely Asperolaelaps sextuberculi  (Karg, 1996). None of these species have been found in association with flowers and their pollinators, as opposed to species of Neocypholaelaps  , the closest genus. Separate systematic position of Asperolaelaps  species can better clarify the concept of Neocypholaelaps  . Asperolaelaps rotundus  and A. sextuberculi  are considered not to belong to Neocypholaelaps  because their diagnostic character states are based on the features inconsistent with Neocypholaelaps  : (1) fixed digit of chelicera with three sharp teeth in proximal-medial part and a wide bilobed subapical tooth (edentate in Neocypholaelaps  ); (2) chelicera without hyaline appendages (appendages developed in Neocypholaelaps  ); (3) corniculi well separate and parallel to each other (adjacent and convergent in Neocypholaelaps  ); (4) palptarsal claw three-tined (two-tined in Neocypholaelaps  ); (5) some dorsal setae mounted on protuberances, and some with unusual position on the dorsal shield: e.g., Z-series setae with insertions well separate from those in central J-rows and more adjacent to those in marginal S-rows (dorsal shield smooth, with dorsal setae otherwise situated in Neocypholaelaps  ); (6) sexual dimorphism of dorsal setation absent (present in Neocypholaelaps  ); (7) tibia IV with two posterolateral setae (only one posterolateral seta in Neocypholaelaps  ). The dentation of cheliceral digits (together with other characters of gnathosoma) shows important generic difference between Asperolaelaps  and Neocypholaelaps  , probably due to their specific mode of life and different feeding habits. On the contrary, except for items 1, 5 and 7, the above mentioned character states are well consistent with the genus Ameroseius  . Asperolaelaps  represents a group of species with Neocypholaelaps  -like venter, Ameroseius  -like gnathosoma, and specific dorsal chaetotaxy, cheliceral dentation and tibial setation of legs IV.

Examination of the type specimens of Asperolaelaps rotundus  and Asperolaelaps sextuberculi  confirmed their validity and specific features. They are quite similar species originally reported from the same biogeographic realm, namely from Australia and New Caledonia, respectively. Female of A. rotundus  differs from A. sextuberculi  by having three setae on femur of leg I conspicuously thickened and shortened, conical (pl2, pv1 and pv2; pl2 unusually displaced close to pv2), and by the peritremes with anterior tips touching each other. In A. sextuberculi  , femur I is relatively narrower and shorter than in previous species, having only normally formed setae, and anterior ends of peritremes separated by insertions of j1.












Asperolaelaps Womersley, 1956

Masan, Peter 2017


Womersley 1956

Asperolaelaps rotundus

Womersley 1956