Phoretic mites and nematode associates of Scolytus multistraitus and Scolytus pygmaeus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in Austria
- The species assemblages and abundance of phoretic mites and nematodes associated with the elm bark beetles, Scolytus multistriatus and Scolytus pygmaeus, were studied in Austria.
- A total of 3922 individual mites were recorded from 144 adults of S. multistriatus and 178 adults of S. pygmaeus. The species spectrum was identical and the relative abundance of mites was very similar for both species of scolytids. Nine mite species, Pyemotes scolyti, Pseudotarsonenoides eccoptogasteri, Trichouropoda bipilis, Tarsonernus crassus, Proctolaelaps eccoptogmteris, Proctolaelaps scolyti, Chelacheles nzichalskii, nr. ueremaeus sp. and Elattoma sp. were detected. Two of the nine species, nr. Euerenzaeus sp. and Elattorna sp., are documented here as new associates of Scolytus spp.
- Pyemotes scolyti was the most frequent mite species, and Ps. eccoptogasteri and T. bipilis were relatively common, whereas the other mites occurred occasionally or were rare.
- The trophic roles of most of the mites associated with S. multistriatus and S. pygmaeus are poorly known, but they may include fungivores, parasitoids of bark beetle broods, predators of bark beetle broods and/or mites and/or nematodes.
- Besides phoretic mites, two nematode associates were seen on the investigated insects. A species of Cryptaphelenchus occurred under the elytra of both scolytid species, whereas the adults of a Neoparasitylenchus sp. were present inside abdomens of S. multistriatus, but absent from S. pypnaeus.