Reproduction, development and diet of Parasitellus fucorum (Mesostigmata: Parasitidae), a mite associated with bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)



The mite Parasitellus fucorum (De Geer) (Mesostigmata: Parasitidae) lives and reproduces in the nests of bumblebees. Despite its abundance on European bumblebees and its occasional invasion of honeybee nests, little is known about its basic life-history traits and dietary requirements. This paper describes the mating behaviour, oviposition and development of P. fucorum under controlled laboratory conditions, and provides observations on the dietary preferences of its life-cycle stages.