n African Entomology - The first report of storage mites, (Acaridae) on laboratory-reared Murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in South Africa : short communication

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



Small hive beetles, Murray, (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) are native to sub-Saharan Africa where they parasitize honey bee ( L) colonies (Lundie 1940). Small hive beetles feed on pollen, brood and honey inside honey bee hives (Lundie 1940). Pupation occurs in the soil and the transitions from larvae to pupae to adult are vulnerable stages in the developmental cycle of small hive beetles (Lundie 1940; Hepburn & Radloff 1998; Neumann & Elzen 2004). Small hive beetles can potentially be transporters of mites and one example of such an association is an undescribed sp. from the U.S.A. that is phoretic on the scarab beetle, (Jarvis 1964). Phoresy is the term used to describe the exploitation by mites of beetles or other insects as a means of transport from an unfavourable habitat to a more favourable one (Delfinado & Baker 1975).

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