Tarsonemid mite associates of Dendroctonus frontalis (Coleoptera: Scolytidae): implications for the historical biogeography of D. frontalis
Seven species of mites (Acari: Tarsenomidae) were associated with two local outbreaks of the southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmerman, in Chiapas, Mexico; three of these species were new records for Mexico and Central America. The morphology and phoretic behavior of these mites differed little between the western and southern populations from the United States. One major difference was that the hyperphoretic ascospores of the southern pine beetle mycangial fungus, Ceratocystiopsis sp. (Ophiostomataceae), were common in sporothecae of Tarsonemus krantzi Smiley and Moser (Acari: Tarsonemidae) and Tarsonemus ips Lindquist in Chiapas, Mexico, whereas the ascospores of the blue stain fungus, Ophiostoma minus (Hedgcock) H. and P. Sydow (Ophiostomataceae), were rare; this situation in the Southern United States is reversed. The paucity of behavioral and morphological differences between the two southern pine beetle populations and the relevant historical climatology suggest that the appearance of D. frontalis in the Southern United States may be a recent event.