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Phoretic mite associates of mountain pine beetle at the leading edge of an infestation in northwestern Alberta, Canada

  • Boyd A. Mori (a1), Heather C. Proctor (a1), David E. Walter (a2) and Maya L. Evenden (a1)
Abstract

We identified species of mites phoretically associated with mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), collected from bolts of lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta Douglas ex Louden (Pinaceae), and pheromone-baited traps in northwestern Alberta, Canada. Mite load and species composition were compared between beetle sexes and with beetle emergence time and estimated body size. The vast majority of mites associated with D. ponderosae in Alberta belonged to three species: Proctolaelaps subcorticalis Lindquist (Acari: Mesostigmata: Melicharidae), Histiogaster arborsignis Woodring (Acari: Astigmatina: Acaridae), and Tarsonemus ips Lindquist (Acari: Prostigmata: Tarsonemidae). There was no difference in mite loads on male and female beetles recovered from bolts in the laboratory and those from pheromone-baited traps in the field. More mites were found on larger beetles in the laboratory, but only T. ips showed this pattern on field-trapped beetles. There was no relationship between total mite load or load by mite species and beetle emergence time in the laboratory, but total mite load on field-trapped beetles decreased over the collecting season (10 June – 3 September 2009) at five collection locations (Grovedale, Blueberry Mountain, Hythe, Evergreen Park, and Glenleslie). This study is the first to document the assemblage of phoretic mites on D. ponderosae in Alberta and will help to direct future research on their interactions.

Nous avons identifié les espèces d'acariens phorétiques sur des dendroctones du pin ponderosa, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins (Coleoptera : Curculionidae : Scolytinae), récoltés sur des billes de pin vrillé, Pinus contorta Douglas ex Louden (Pinaceae), et dans des pièges munis de phéromones dans le nord-ouest de l'Alberta, Canada. Les charges d'acariens et les compositions en espèces ont été comparées chez les coléoptères des deux sexes en fonction du moment de l'émergence et de la taille corporelle estimée. La grande majorité des acariens associés à D. ponderosae en Alberta appartiennent à trois espèces, Proctolaelaps subcorticalis Lindquist (Acari : Mesostigmata : Melicharidae), Histiogaster arborsignis Woodring (Acari : Astigmatina : Acaridae) et Tarsonemus ips Lindquist (Acari : Prostigmata : Tarsonemidae). Il n'y a pas de différence de charge d'acariens entre les coléoptères mâles et femelles prélevés sur les billes en laboratoire, ni dans les pièges à phéromones en nature. Plus d'acariens se retrouvent en laboratoire sur les coléoptères plus grands, mais seul T. ips suit ce patron sur les coléoptères dans les pièges. Il n'y a pas de relation entre la charge totale d'acariens ou entre la charge en fonction des espèces d'acariens et le moment de l'émergence des coléoptères en laboratoire; cependant, la charge totale d'acariens sur les coléoptères capturés dans les pièges en nature diminue au cours de la saison de récolte (10 juin – 3 septembre 2009) aux cinq sites de capture (Grovedale, Blueberry Mountain, Hythe, Evergreen Park et Glenleslie). Notre étude est la première à caractériser le peuplement d'acariens phorétiques sur D. ponderosae en Alberta et aidera à orienter les recherches futures sur leurs interactions.

[Traduit par la Rédaction]

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1Corresponding author (e-mail: bmori@ualberta.ca).
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