Patterns of parasitism by tracheal mites (Locustacarus buchneri) in natural bumble bee populations

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Otterstatter , Michael ; Whidden , Troy (2004)
  • Publisher: Springer Verlag
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1051/apido:2004024
  • Subject: parasitism | Podapolipidae | Bombus | Locustacarus buchneri | [ SDV.EE ] Life Sciences [q-bio]/Ecology, environment | [ SDV.BID ] Life Sciences [q-bio]/Biodiversity | [ SDV.BA.ZI ] Life Sciences [q-bio]/Animal biology/Invertebrate Zoology | [ SDV.SA.SPA ] Life Sciences [q-bio]/Agricultural sciences/Animal production studies | Psithyrus
    mesheuropmc: behavior and behavior mechanisms | complex mixtures | fungi | parasitic diseases

International audience; Parasitic mites are among the most destructive enemies of social bees. However, aside from mites of honey bees, virtually nothing is known about the prevalence and effects of parasitic mites in natural bee populations. In this paper, we report on parasitism of bumble bees (Bombus spp.) by the tracheal mite Locustacarus buchneri Stammer in south-western Alberta, Canada. Parasitism of bumble bees by L. buchneri occurred at many sites and in several host species. However, L. buchneri appears to be relatively host-species specific as it was found primarily in bumble bee species belonging to the subgenus Bombus sensu stricto. Furthermore, bumble bees containing tracheal mites had significantly reduced lifespans in the laboratory. Implications of parasitism on bumble bee life history are discussed.
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