Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 73–85 | Cite as

Discovery of sporothecae in adult femaleTrochometridium Cross, with notes on analogous structures inSiteroptes Amerling (Acari: Heterostigmata)

  • Evert E. Lindquist


Adult female mites of the genusTrochometridium Cross possess a pair of internal sacs between the bases of legs III and IV, which are adapted for carrying spores, apparently ascospores, of an undetermined fungus. A three-way symbiotic relationship exists between the mite, the fungus, and various bees (and possibly other holometabolous insects) which nest in relatively dry alkaline soils. The mite transports spores of the fungus to suitable sites for germination — cells of ground-nesting bees containing a bee egg or young larva which dies as a result of development of the fungus and mite. The mite may also stimulate mycelial growth, possibly by killing the young bee or by secreting a substance when feeding. The fungus provides the preferred mycelial substrate on which the mite feeds and undergoes its life cycle. This mutualistic association between the mite and fungus is at the expense of the bee, which transports the other two entities to favorable sites for their development — its newly made and provisioned cells. The sporothecae and specialized association ofTrochometridium mites with a fungal pathogen or saprophyte of another host organism are compared with those ofSiteroptes mites, which are considerably better understood.


Mycelial Growth Analogous Structure Alkaline Soil Symbiotic Relationship Host Organism 
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Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Evert E. Lindquist
    • 1
  1. 1.Biosystematics Research InstituteAgriculture CanadaOttawaCanada

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