The male of Transeius avetianae (Arutunjan & Ohandjanian), collected in Zanjan Province, Iran is described for the first time. The female is re-described from a collection large enough (n = 67) to examine morphometric variations. The measurements of female morphological characters collected from Iran are compared with those given in the original description from Armenia. A key to the species of Transeius recorded from Iran is also given.
Phytoseiid mites are predators of spider mites and other small mites and insects. Some species also feed on nematodes, fungal spores, pollen and exudates from plants, but rarely plant tissue (Chant 1985, 1992; Overmeer 1985). Several members of this family are of great importance in the biological control of spider mites and thrips in greenhouse crop production (Gerson et al. 2003; Zhang 2003). The Phytoseiidae is a large family with worldwide distribution. About 2300 species belonging to over 90 genera are known in the world (Beaulieu et al. 2011; Chant & McMurtry 2007). From Iran, more than 70 species of Phytoseiidae have been reported as new species or new records (Khalil-Manesh 1973; McMurtry 1977; Sepasgosarian 1977; Daneshvar 1980, 1987; Daneshvar & Denmark 1982; Hajizadeh et al. 2002; Kolodochka et al. 2003; Faraji et al. 2007; Rahmani et al.2010). The genus Transeius Chant and McMurtry of the subfamily Amblyseiinae (Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae) has 43 nominal species. Three species, belonging to the genus, are recorded from Iran (Faraji et al., 2007; Rahmani et al., 2010). Chant and McMurtry (2004) created this genus for those amblyseiine species having the following morphological characters: ratio of seta s4 more than three times longer than Z1, seta ratio s4:S2< 2.7:1, setae S5 present, setae z2, z4, S4, S5 and dorsocentral setae short to minute, and setae s4, Z4 and Z5 prominent. All the species have the female idiosomal setal pattern 10A:9B/JV -3: ZV, with 33 pairs of setae. Most species in the genus were collected in the Northern Hemisphere (Chant & McMurtry 2007).
During a survey to determine the diversity of Phytoseiidae species in Zanjan county of Iran, in 2010–2011, the species Transeius avetianae Arutunjan and Ohandjanian (1972) was collected from the habitats of rotten wood, leaf litter, soil under fruit trees and fungi. Transeius avetianae was originally collected in Armenia (Khosrov, Ararat) in leaf litter and was described based on three female specimens (Arutunjan & Ohandjanian 1972). It was also recorded in Ukraine by Kolodochka and Sklyar (1981) and mentioned by Arutunjan (1977) and Beglyarov (1981). This species was recorded from Iran by Pakyari et al. (2007) without providing any morphological characteristics. In this paper, we re-describe the female of T. avetianae from numerous specimens and describe the male of this species for the first time. We also compare the morphology of specimens found in Iran with those given in the original description by Arutunjan and Ohandjanian (1972).
Materials and methods
Mites were extracted from samples of plant foliage, litter, wood fungi and soil using a Berlese/ Tullgren funnel or by direct examination under a stereomicroscope. Samples were taken weekly from various areas and habitats in Zanjan county, Iran. The samples were collected mainly from unsprayed areas during the growing seasons of 2010–2011. More than 700 phytoseiid specimens were sorted out and preserved in 70% ethanol. Mites were cleared in lactophenol solution and mounted in Hoyer's medium on microscope slides. Mites were identified according to Chant and McMurtry (2004). Setal nomenclature follows Lindquist and Evans (1965) and Rowell et al. (1978). All measurements are given in micrometers (µm). The voucher slide mounted material is deposited in the mite collection of the Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zanjan, Iran and in the Acari collection of MITOX Consultants, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Transeius avetianae (Arutunjan & Ohandjanian)
Amblyseius avetianae Arutunjan & Ohandjanian, 1972
Amblyseius (Amblyseius) avetianae.—Arutunjan, 1977
Typhlodromips avetianae.—Moraes et al., 2004
Transeius avetianae.—Chant & McMurtry, 2004
FEMALE (n=67) (Figures 1–5)—(measurements: mean followed by their respective ranges).
Dorsal idiosoma (Figure 1)—Dorsal setal pattern: 10A: 9B. Dorsal shield oval slightly reticulated, length of dorsal shield 327 (310–370), width at level of j6 190 (170–213), with 19 pairs of dorsal setae (including r3 and R1) and 21 pairs of pores (7 pairs solenostomes gd1, gd2, gd4, gd5, gd6, gd8 and gd9, 14 poroids); Setae s4, S2, S4, z4, Z4 and Z5 are relatively longer and j4, j5, j6, J2, J5 and z5 are shorter; dorsal setae smooth, except for Z4 and Z5, serrate. Length of dorsal setae : j1 24 (23–28), j3 31 (27–46), j4 13 (12–15), j5 12 (9–16), j6 18 (13–24), J2 17 (12–22), J5 11 (10–14), z2 32 (20–40), z4 38 (33–44), z5 11 (9–13), Z1 20 (13–28), Z4 69 (60–78), Z5 85 (70–99), s4 62 (51–70), S2 60 (50–67), S4 35 (28–43), S5 23 (16–29); Setae r3 18 (14–25) and R1 18 (15–24) on lateral integument.
Peritreme—Extending forward to level of j1.
Ventral idiosoma (Figure 2)—Ventral setal pattern: JV-3: ZV. Sternal shield smooth, 69 (65–75) long and 75 (73–78) wide at level of seta ST2; with 2 pairs of pores and 3 pairs of setae, ST1 28 (23–33), ST2 25 (23–28) and ST3 24 (23–25); ST1–ST1 55 (53–56), ST2–ST2 69 (65–70) and ST1–ST3 67 (65–69); metasternal shield 14 (13–15) long and 7 (6–8) wide, with a pore and a seta ST4 27 (25–28); genital shield smooth, width (at level of seta ST5) 74 (70–75); ST5 35 (32–37) long and ST5–ST5 72 (68–73); ventrianal shield pentagonal, striated with 3 pairs of preanal setae JV1 23 (19–25), JV2 25 (23–30) and ZV2 26 (23–30); ventrianal shield with 1 pair of preanal pores posterior to JV2, distance between these pores 27 (25-30); length of ventrianal shield 113 (93–133), width at ZV2 level 84 (60–95); ZV1 25 (24–25), ZV3 13 (10–15), JV4 18 (15–20) and JV5 64 (52–68); 2 pairs of moderately large metapodal shields, primary 33 (30-37) long and accessory 18 (15-20) long.
MALE (Figures 6–8) (n=6)—(measurements: mean followed by their respective ranges).
Dorsal idiosoma (Figure 6)—Dorsal shield oval, smooth with few anterolateral striae, 272 (260–290) long, 168 (160–175) wide at level of j6, with 19 pairs of dorsal setae and 21 pairs of pores as in female, only setae Z4 and Z5 serrated, the other setae smooth; setae j3, s4, S2, z2, z4, Z4 and Z5 are relatively longer than the other setae. The length of dorsal setae : j1 22 (19–25), j3 30 (28–31), j4 11 (10–14), j5 10 (10–11), j6 15 (13–18), J2 14 (13–18), J5 10 (10–11), z2 23 (21–26), z4 30 (28–33), z5 10 (9–10), Z1 14 (13–15), Z4 50 (46–53), Z5 57 (54–60), s4 47 (44–52), S2 41 (40–42), S4 29 (28–33), S5 15 (11–19), r3 16 (13–20) and R1 16 (15–18).
Peritreme—Extending to the level of j1.
Ventral idiosoma (Figure 7)—Sterno-genital shield smooth 131 (125–141) long and 67 (65–70) wide at level of seta ST2, with 5 pairs of setae ST1 18, ST2 18, ST3 18, ST4 17 (17–18) and ST518 and 3 pair of pores. Distance between ST1–ST1 53 (54–55), ST1–ST5 109 (103–114); ventrianal shield subtriangular, striated, 133 (120–148) long and 126 (120–133) wide at level of seta ZV2 and 150 (138–163) at the widest point, with a pair of round preanal pores posteromesad of JV2 and 3 pairs of small pores; ventrianal shield with 3 pairs of preanal setae JV1 16 (15–18), JV2 17 (15–18) and ZV2 17 (15–18); seta JV5 32 (30–37) on soft cuticle.
Legs—Measurements of legs (from base of leg to end of pretarsus) as follows: leg I 338 (328–360), leg II 247 (225–260), leg III 244 (220–260) and leg IV 338 (322–350) long, respectively. SgeIII 21 (20–23), SgeIV 28 (21–35), StiIV 28 (27–32), and StIV 52 (46–60); genua and tibiae I-II-III-IV with 10-8-7-7 and 10-7-7-6 setae, respectively.
Material examined—67 females and 6 males collected from Zanjan county as follows. 14♀♀, 1♂, Genavand village, soil under poplar trees, 12.VII.2011; 2♀♀, Gojeh-ghia village, litters of willow trees, 21.VII.2011; 1♀, Bughda-kandi village, 21.VII.2011; 3♀♀, Chiyar village, soil under apple trees, 22.VII.2011; 3♀♀, Chiyar village, soil under maple trees, 22.VII.2011; 1♀, Bonab village, soil under poplar trees, 18.VII.2011; 2♀♀, Bonab village, soil under willow trees, 18.VII.2011; 1♀, Dizej-abad village, litter of walnut, 19.VII.2011; 2♀♀, And abad-olia village, litter of willow, 26.VII.2011; 1♀, near of Darreh lik village, tomato, 25.VII.2011; 2♀♀, And abad-olia village, soil under elm trees, 26.VII.2011; 2♀♀, Kavand village, litter of willow trees, 21.VII.2011; 1♀, Chiyar village, soil under willow trees, 22.VII.2011; 1♀, Zanjan University, fungus, 23.VIII.2011; 1♀, 1♂, Yeng-jeh village, litter of service trees, 21.VIII.2011; 1♀, Bonab village, alfalfa, 18.VII.2011; 1♀, Yeng-jeh village, rotten wood, 21.VIII.2011; 4♀♀, Morvarid village, litter of service trees, 18.VIII.2011; 3♀, Dolanab village, soil under willow trees, 2.VIII.2011; 1♀, 1♂, Mirjan village, soil under plum trees, 14.VII.2011; 5♀♀, 1♂, Chiyar village, soil under apple trees, 16.VII.2011; 2♀♀, Zanjan University, soil under cypress trees, 18.XI.2010 and 21.XI.2010; 3♀♀, Zanjan University, soil under plantain trees, 5.I.2011; 2♀♀, Zanjan University, soil under cypress trees, 10.I.2011; 4♀♀, Zanjan University, soil under plantain trees, 15.IV.2011; 2♀♀, Zanjan University, litters of poplar trees, 5.VI.2011; 1♀, Zanjan University, soil under apple trees, 18.VI.2011; 1♀, Zanjan University, rotten wood, 21.VI.2011; 1♂, Khosh-rood village, rotten wood, 16.VIII.2011; 1♂, Esfenaj village, litter of willow trees, 1.VIII.2011.
Distribution—Armenia, Ukraine and Iran.
Remarks—By having a relatively longer z4 seta and elongate spermathecal calyx with a swollen base, T. avetianae belongs in the ablusus species group and priximus subgroup as proposed by Chant and McMurtry (2004). Due to examination of sufficient specimens collected in this study, we provided a wider range of variation in morphological characters of T. avetianae than that of the original description. The measurements provided by Arutunjan & Ohandjanian (1972) in the original description on three females fit well within our data (Table 1). This species was collected from humid parts of litter, soil, rotten wood and fungi mainly from the places close to the Zanjanrood River.
Comparison of some morphological characters of Transeius avetianae collected in Iran with those given in the original description (measurements in micrometers)
Key to the Iranian species of Transeius: adult female
1. Ventrianal shield without preanal solenostomes T. herbarius (Wainstein)
- Ventrianal shield with preanal solenostomes 2
2. Calyx of spermatheca elongate, length more than 25 µm T. avetianae (Arutunjan & Ohandjanian)
- Calyx of spermatheca short and cup-shaped, length less than 10 µm T. wainsteini (Gomelauri)