A long-legged mite species from Turkey: Cheletomorpha lepidopterorum (Shaw) (Acari: Cheyletidae)

Doğan S., Kabasakal B., Doğan S.

Erzincan Üniversitesi Fen Bilimleri Enstitüsü Dergisi, vol.12, no.1, pp.136-147, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Cheyletid mites (Acari: Cheyletidae) have economic importance as they are biological control agents as well as parasitic. The genus Cheletonella Womersley, belonging to this family, is recognized by having unusually long legs I that allows them to capture their prey. This genus currently comprises four valid species including Cheletomorpha lepidopterorum (Shaw). In this species palp tibial claws normally bear one large basal tooth in female, one to four teeth in male. In the Turkish specimens, this character shows unilateral and bilateral numerical variations: Each palp tibial claw bears three teeth in one male whereas one tooth in other two males, in one female right tibial claw bears two teeth while one tooth on that of left side. Palpal claws in other female are normal. C. lepidopterorum is one of the most striking of the cheyletids and has a cosmopolitan distribution. It has already been reported from Turkey by some authors, but none of them has given neither morphological characteristics of the species nor its description. In the this study, a re-description of this species based on two females and three male specimens collected in a straw sample from Şiran, Gümüşhane, was given. Also, other morphological variations observed in this species were discussed based on literature.