Monday 23 May 2016

Laelaspis natanziensis: A new species of Laelapid Mite from Isfahan Province, Iran.

Laelapid Mites are a large and diverse group, including free-living carnivorous forms as well as both obligate and facultative parasites (species that feed only parasitically and species that are sometimes parasitic but can feed in other ways). Members of the group are also found in a variety of environments, including soil and leaf litter and the nests of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. The family takes its name from the genus Laelaspis, which is found in the nests of Ants, though exactly how members of this genus feed is unknown, with suggestions having been made that they feed on substances secreted by the Ants, smaller invertebrates living in the nests or even the eggs of the Ants.

In a paper published in the Persian Journal of Acarology on 15 January 2016, Elham Masoomi of the Department of Entomology at the Islamic Azad University, Omid Joharchi of the Young Researchers and Elite Club, also at the Islamic Azad University and Alireza Jalalizand, again of the Department of Entomology at the Islamic Azad University, describe a new species of Laelaspis from Natanz County in Isfahan Province, Iran.

The new species is named Laelaspis natanziensis, meaning 'from Natanz'. The Mites were extracted from soil associated with the nests of Ants of the genus Tetramorium. Females range from 532 to 545 μm in length and from 437 to 451μm in width, the single male discovered measured 413 by 312 μm.

 Laelaspis natanziensis (female) Left: Dorsal view of idiosoma. Right: Ventral view of idiosoma. Masoomi et al. (2016).

See also... new species of Gall Mite from Tripura State, northeast India.                                   Gall Mites (Eriophyidae) are small Archnids related to Spider Mites and Scrub Itch Mites. They are exclusively parasitic, targetting higher plants. Gall Mites have only two pairs of legs, and an... new species of Feather Mite from Saudi Arabia.                                                        Mites (Acari) are small Arachnids related to Microwhip Scorpions (Palpigradi) and Sea Spiders (Pycnogonida). They are one of the...

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