Parapygmephorus crossi (Acari, Heterostigmata, Neopygmephoridae), a mite species new to fauna of Iran

Shahrzad Azhari, Hamidreza Hajiqanbar, Ali Asghar Talebi


There are 21 genera in the family Neopygmephoridae (Acari: Heterostigmata: Pygmephoroidea) (Khaustov and Mandelshtam 2017) in which many of them are associated with various arthropods including Chilopods, spiders, bees, ants, beetles and termites (Khaustov 2017). One of the neopygmephorid genera is Parapygmephorus encompassing eight species, associated with bees of the families Halictidae, Apidae, Colletidae and Megachilidae, and in one case on a spider wasp, Pompilidae (Fan et al. 2014). These phoretic mites feed on fungi in the nests of their bee hosts and are clinging them by a large and strong single claw on their first tibiotarsus (Cross 1965).

During a sampling of bees and their associate mites in Iran, the mite Parapygmephorus crossi Mahunka, 1974 (Figures 1A and 1B) recovered from Halictus (Halictus) resurgens Nurse, 1903 (Halictidae) (Figure 1C and 1D) in city park (Park Jangali) close to Yasouj, capital of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad province (Southwestern Iran) on 7 Septamber 2014. Twelve specimens of phoretic mites were found attaching to body hairs of a bee host. The materials are deposited in the Acarological Collection, Department of Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

Mite Parapygmephorus crossi was collected and described for the first time on Halictus holtzi (Schultz) from Afghanistan (Mahunka 1974) characterized by setae ps1 longer than ps2 and setae ps3 distinctly shorter than ps2. So, it is first record of this species in Iran and second record in the world including Palaearctic. Previously, three other species of the Parapygmephorus were collected from Iran: P. khorasanicus Hajiqanbar and Khaustov, 2011 on Halictus quadricinctus (Fabricius); P. delyorum Mahunka, 1980 on an unidentified halictid bee; and P. magnisetosus Khaustov and Zaloznaya, 2011 on Amigella sp. and Eucera sp. (Apidae), Halictus spp. and Lasioglossum sp. (Halictidae), and Lithurgus chrysurus Fonscolombe, 1834 (Megachilidae) (Hajiqanbar et al. 2011a; Hajiqanbar et al. 2011b; Hajiqanbar and Rakhshani 2011; Loghmani et al. 2014; Sobhi et al. 2017).

Full Text:



Cross, E.A. (1965) The generic relationships of the family Pyemotidae (Acarina: Trombidiformes). University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 45: 29–275.

Fan, Q., Khaustov, A.A. & Donovan, B. (2014) The redescription of Parapygmephorus luxtoni (Mahunka, 1970) comb. nov. (Acari: Neopygmephoridae) phoretic on bees of the family Colletidae (Hymenoptera) from New Zealand. Systematic and Applied Acarology, 19(3): 373–380.

Hajiqanbar, H. & Rakhshani, H. (2011) Parapygmephorus delyorum (Acari: Heterostigmata: Neopygmephoridae), a species new to mite fauna of Iran. Journal of Entomological Society of Iran, 31(1): 89–90.

Hajiqanbar, H., Ahmadi, S. & Saboori, A. (2011) Extending host range of the genus Parapygmephorus Cross, 1965 (Acari: Heterostigmatina: Neopygmephoridae) beyond bees of the family Halictidae (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). In: Kazemi, Sh. & Saboori, A. (Eds.), Abstract and proceeding book of the First Persian Congress of Acarology, International Center for Science, High Education and Environmental Sciences, Kerman, Iran, p. 70.

Hajiqanbar, H., Khaustov, A. & Kamali, K. (2011) A new species of Parapygmephorus (Acari; Heterostigmatina; Neopygmephoridae) phoretic on Halictus quadricinctus (Fabricius, 1776) (Hym.; Halictidae) from Iran. Zoological Science, 28(1): 56–60.

Khaustov, A.A. (2017) A new species and a new record of mite genus Coleopygmephorus (Acari: Neopygmephoridae) associated with bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) from Russia. International Journal of Acarology, 43 (5): 351–358.

Khaustov, A.A. & Mandelshtam, M.Y. (2017) Coleopygmephorus gen. nov., a new genus of the family Neopygmephoridae (Acari: Pygmephoroidea) with redescription of C. loricophilus (Sevastianov 1981) comb. nov. and description of a new species associated with bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) from Far East of Russia. International Journal of Acarology, 43:30–38.

Loghmani, A., Hajiqanbar, H. & Talebi, A.A. (2014) New records of mites of the superfamily Pygmephoroidea (Acari: Heterostigmatina) associated with insects from northeastern Iran and new host records. Systematic and Applied Acarology, 19(2): 154–159.

Mahunka, S. (1974) Beiträge zur Kenntnis der an Hymenopteren lebenden Milben (Acari), I. Annales His­torico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici, 66: 389–394.

Sobhi, M., Hajiqanbar, H. & Mortazavi, A. (2017) Heterostigmatic mites (Acari: Heterostigmatina) associated with insects in northwestern Iran. Journal of Entomological Society of Iran, 37(1): 67–79 (in Persian with English abstract).


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Persian Journal of Acarology

License URL: