Ectoparasitic Mites Varroa underwoodi (Acarina: Varroidae) in Eastern Honeybees, but not in Western Honeybees

Wang, Shuai; Lin, Zheguang; Dietemann, Vincent; Neumann, Peter; Wu, Yuqi; Hu, Fuliang; Zheng, Huoqing (2019). Ectoparasitic Mites Varroa underwoodi (Acarina: Varroidae) in Eastern Honeybees, but not in Western Honeybees. Journal of economic entomology, 112(1), pp. 25-32. Entomological Society of America 10.1093/jee/toy288

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The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Acarina: Varroidae) shifted host from Eastern honeybees Apis cerana Fabricius (Hymenoptera: Apidae) to Western honeybees Apis mellifera Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) with disastrous consequences globally. The high genetic diversity of V. destructor and abundant opportunities for cross-species transmission probably promoted this host shift. Whether Varroa underwoodi (Acarina: Varroidae) also exhibits these traits is unknown. Here, we conduct a large-scale survey across China on the occurrence, morphology, reproduction, and genetics of V. underwoodi in A. cerana and A. mellifera colonies to fill gaps in our knowledge of this mite and to determine whether host shifts occurred. Despite the large number of colonies screened, V. underwoodi was exclusively found in A. cerana, where it occurred at low infestation rates. Three genetic clades were detected in the V. underwoodi population, which differed neither in morphology nor in reproductive ability. Nevertheless, the genetic diversity of V. underwoodi is likely to increase chances for host shifts, even though opportunities for cross-species transmission seem low. More studies of the neglected Varroa species seem appropriate to enable a better understanding of host shifts in the Apis spp./Varroa spp. system and evaluate the potential risk they pose to apiculture with A. mellifera.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Bee Health

UniBE Contributor:

Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0022-0493

Publisher:

Entomological Society of America

Language:

English

Submitter:

Anna Papach

Date Deposited:

16 Apr 2019 16:36

Last Modified:

16 Apr 2019 16:36

Publisher DOI:

10.1093/jee/toy288

PubMed ID:

30277506

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/127019

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