The relationship between the pine bark beetle Ips sexdentatus and its phoretic mites in a Pinus pinaster forest in northwest Spain was studied during 2014. Four species of mites were collected, three of them from the body of the beetle—Histiostoma ovalis, Dendrolaelaps quadrisetus and Trichouropoda polytricha—the fourth, Cercoleipus coelonotus, was collected from the sediments. The main aims of this study were to explore (1) mite diversity and related parameters, (2) the location on the body of the (male and female) beetle, as well as mite assemblages, and (3) the seasonal dynamic association between mite species and the beetle. Results indicated that the diversity oscillated around 0.71 through the study period and the most dominant, frequent and abundant mite was H. ovalis. Histiostoma ovalis was found attached to almost all parts of the body (mainly on the elytral declivity and ventral thorax), whereas D. quadrisetus was exclusively found under the elytra, and T. polytricha displayed affinity towards the elytral declivity as well as the ventral thorax. None of the mite species displayed any preference for the sex of the beetle and the most frequent mite assemblage was H. ovalis, T. polytricha and D. quadrisetus all together. Maximum abundance of each phoretic mite species was related with each of the flight peaks of
the beetle that would indicate that these mite species use phoresy as a primary method of transport for colonizing new food sources.
ETS Ingenierías Agrarias Universidad de Valladolid - Avd. Madrid s/n
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