Multipartite Symbioses Among Fungi, Mites, Nematodes, and the Spruce Beetle, Dendroctonus rufipennis.
The spruce beetle, Dendroctonus rufipennis, is an eruptive forest pest of signifcant economic and ecological importance. D. rufipennis has symbiotic associations with a number of microorganisms, especially the ophiostomatoid fungus Leptographium abietinum. The nature of this interaction is only partially understood. Additionally, mite and nematode associates can mediate bark beetle fungal interactions, but this has not yet been studied for spruce beetles. In this study, we found eight mite species associated with spruce beetles: Tarsonemus ips, T. endophloeus, Histiogaster arborsignis, Dendrolaelaps quadrisetus, Proctolaelaps hytricoides, Trichouropoda alascae, T. n. sp. nr dalarenaensis, and Urobovella n. sp 767. The most prevalent species was H. arborsignis. In addition, 75% of beetles examined carried nematodes, with six species represented.