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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Baton Rouge, Louisiana » Honey Bee Lab » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334555

Research Project: Genetics and Breeding in Support of Honey Bee Health

Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research

Title: Ecology, life history and management of tropilaelaps mites

Author
item De Guzman, Lilia
item WILLIAMS, GEOFFREY - University Of Bern
item KHONGPHINITBUNJONGE, KITIPHONG - Mae Fah Luan University
item CHANTAWANNAKUL, PANUWAN - Chiang Mai University

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2016
Publication Date: 3/31/2017
Citation: De Guzman, L.I., Williams, G.R., Khongphinitbunjonge, K., Chantawannakul, P. 2017. Ecology, life history and management of tropilaelaps mites. Journal of Economic Entomology. 110(2):319-332. https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/tow304.

Interpretive Summary: Like varroa mites, tropilaelaps mites feed on honey bee hemolymph inflicting similar damages on their honey bee hosts. Thus, the possible introduction of tropilaelaps mites into the United States or around the world will be an added burden to an already suffering industry. We reviewed the literature for historic and recent information about these two tropilaelaps mites. This compilation includes a general review on their molecular and morphological differences, host range and distribution, and their biology. We also discussed their negative impact on honey bees both at individual and colony levels, and listed methods to manage and control them. Since all aspects of tropilaelaps mite biology are incomplete, we also offered avenues for future research.

Technical Abstract: Parasitic mites are the major threat of the Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. For much of the world, Varroa destructor single-handedly inflicts unsurmountable problems to A. mellifera beekeeping. However, A. mellifera in Asia is also faced with another genus of destructive parasitic mite, Tropilaelaps. The life history of these two parasitic mites is very similar and both have the same food requirements (i.e, hemolymph of developing brood). Hence, parasitism of Tropilaelaps spp., especially Tropilaelaps mercedesae and Tropilaelaps clareae, also results in death of immature brood or wing deformities in infested adult bees. The possible introduction of tropilaelaps mites outside their current range heightens existing dilemmas brought by varroa mites. In this review, we provide historic, as well as current information on the taxonomic status, life history, distribution and host range, diagnosis, and control of tropilaelaps mites. Because the biology of tropilaelaps mites is not well-known, we also suggest areas of research that demand immediate attention. Any biological information about tropilaelaps mites will provide useful information for the development of control measures against them.