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Journal Articles Biology Letters Year : 2014

An ant-associated mesostigmatid mite in Baltic amber

Abstract

Fossil mesostigmatid mites (Acari: Parasitiformes: Mesostigmata) are extremely rare, and specimens from only nine families, including four named species, have been described so far. A new record of Myrmozercon sp. described here from Eocene (ca 44-49 Myr) Baltic amber represents the first--and so far only--fossil example of the derived, extant family Laelapidae. Significantly, modern species of this genus are habitually myrmecophilous and the fossil mite described here is preserved attached to the head of the dolichoderine ant Ctenobethylus goepperti (Mayr, 1868). It thus offers the oldest unequivocal evidence for an ecological association between mesostigmatid mites and social insects in the order Hymenoptera.

Domains

Earth Sciences

Dates and versions

insu-01064375 , version 1 (16-09-2014)

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Jason E. Dunlop, Jeno Kontschad, David E. Walter, Vincent Perrichot. An ant-associated mesostigmatid mite in Baltic amber. Biology Letters, 2014, 10 (9), pp.Art. n°20140531. ⟨10.1098/rsbl.2014.0531⟩. ⟨insu-01064375⟩
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