ULTRASTRUCTURAL OBSERVATION OF POLLEN MITES ON TETRAGONULA FUSCOBALTEATA

  • Zubaidah Abu Hassan Universiti Malaya
  • Shamsul Bahri Abdul Razak
  • Junedah Sanusi
  • Nur Azura Adam
Keywords: Mites, Tetragonula fuscobalteata, thorax, abdomen

Abstract

Mites are common inhabitants in the nests of eusocial and solitary bees, including stingless bees. In this study, mites associated with Tetragonula fuscobalteata were examined using Scanning Electron Microscopy. Stingless bee’s specimens were collected in April for pollens studies. The sizes of these mites are in the range of 370-400 μm length and 200-250 μm width. They have four pairs of segmented hairy legs with a claw on each leg. The dorsal body has a unique lining pattern. The mouth part has structure known as pedipalp. They were observed on several areas of the stingless bee’s exoskeleton which are on the anterior dorsolateral abdomen, intertagmal region between thorax and abdomen; and dorsal trochanter of the femur. It is believed that these locations are the place where the mites can easily use their piercing mouthparts to penetrate the exoskeleton of their host and where mites are less likely to be removed by the bee’s grooming activity. On pollen observation, the mites were predominantly found together with citrus, Citrofortunella microcarpa’s pollens. This can be postulated that those mites were closely associated with pollen and transferred from pollen to the nest when the bees foraged the flowers.

Published
2022-12-22
Section
Original Research Articles