Phoretic mites of three bark beetles (Pityokteines spp.) on silver fir
The species composition and abundance of phoretic mites of the bark beetles Pityokteines curvidens P. spinidens, and P. vorontzowi on Silver fir (Abies alba) were investigated in 2003 at two locations (Trakoscan and Litoric) in Croatia. Stem sections and branches from A. alba trees infested by Pityokteines ssp. were collected and incubated in rearing cages. Bark beetles emerging from the stem sections and branches were examined for photetic mites. A total of ten mite species were documented for the Worst time as associates of Pityokteines spp. on A. alba. These included Dendrolaelaps quadrisetus, Ereynetes scutulis, Histiostoma piceae, Paraleius leontonychus, Pleuronectocelaeno japonica, Proctolaelaps hystricoides, Schizostethus simulatrix, Tarsonemus minimax, Trichouropoda lamellose, and Uroobovella ipidis. T. minimax was the most frequent phoretic mite of all the three scolytines and U. ipidis was also common, whereas, the other mite species occurred less frequently. The species spectrum and relative abundance of mite associates were similar for all three Pityokteines species. Another species, Pleuronectocelaeno barbara was commonly found phoretic on P. curvidens, captured in pheromone traps in 2005 at the location Litoric. Furthermore, two previously collected mite specimens from Switzerland, phoretic on P. curvidens, were identified as Nanacarus sp. and Bonomia sp. The records from Croatia and Switzerland in the present study increase the number of known mite associates of Pityokteines spp. from one previously documented species to 14 species. None of the phoretic mites found in the survey in Croatia appear to have the potential to be used for biological control of Pityokteines spp., although the feeding habits are unknown for many species recorded.