Gaeolaelaps iranicus Kavianpour & Nemati

Kavianpour, Mohammadreza, Nemati, Alireza, Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz, & Kocheili, Farhan, 2013, A new species of the genus Gaeolaelaps (Acari, Mesostigmata, Laelapidae) from Iran, ZooKeys 277, pp. 1-11 : 2-6

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Gaeolaelaps iranicus Kavianpour & Nemati

sp. n.

Gaeolaelaps iranicus Kavianpour & Nemati   ZBK sp. n. Figures 1-8

Specimens examined.

Holotype, female, soil, Shahreza (32°03'N, 51°54'E, alt. 1777 m), Esfahan Province, Iran, 11 July 2010; coll., M. Kavianpour.

Paratypes: Females, soil from different parts of Shahreza, Esfahan province, and from different parts of Chaharmahal Va Bakhtiari and Khuzestan provinces, Iran, with the following data: Esfahan province, Shahreza: eight females (32°07'N, 51°55'E, alt. 1725 m), 22 August 2010; one female (32°06'N, 51°54'E, alt. 1747 m), 22 August 2010; three females (32°02'N, 51°53'E, alt. 1795 m), 1 September 2010; one female (32°01'N, 51°53'E, alt. 1799 m), 5 September 2010; seven females (32°01'N, 51°53'E, alt. 1800 m), 20 March 2011; five females (32°01'N, 51°53'E, alt. 1806 m), 4 April 2011; three females (32°02'N, 51°51'E, alt. 1827 m), 11 June 2011; three females (31°39'N, 51°55'E, alt. 2220 m), 9 July 2011; three females (32°00'20"N, 51°52'54"E, alt. 1823 m), 17 July 2011; one female (31°56'N, 51°44'E, alt. 1963 m), 4 August 2011.

Chaharmahal Va Bakhtiari province, Shahrekord (32°19'N, 50°51'E, alt. 2206 m),three females, soil and litter, 2012, coll., A. Nemati.

Khuzestan province, Baghmalek (31°31'N, 49° 53'E, alt. 707 m), two females, soil; Ghaletol (31°37'N, 49°53'E, alt. 885 m), two females, soil; Izeh (31°49'N, 49°52'E, alt. 845 m), two females, soil, 2012, coll., A. Nemati.


Female; with small size (330-400); dorsal shield with 36 pairs of setae (PX2 and S1 missing), PX3 setae present between J and Z series, only two pairs of marginal setae (r6, R5) in soft lateral cuticle, considerably shorter than dorsal shield setae; peritremes long, extending to anterior of setae s1; leg IV: tarsus (91-99: basitarsus + telotarsus), (al1-3, av1-2, pl1-3 and pv1-2 thickened, ad2-3 and pd2-3 slender and very elongate: ad2-3 (0.55-0.57 and 0.66-0.69 × the length of tarsus IV respectively) and pd2-3 (0.74-0.83 and 0.94-1.02 × the length of tarsus IV respectively).

Description of the female

(n = 7). Figures 1-8.

Dorsal idiosoma. Fig 1. Dorsal shield oval-shaped, 330-400 long, width at level of setae r3 170-195; reticulation more distinct posterior to setae j6; shield with 36 pairs of thin and simple setae, 21 pairs on podonotal region (j1-6; z1, z2, z4-6; s1-6; r2-5; z3 missing) and 15 pairs on opisthonotal region (J1-5, Z1-5, S2-5), including PX3 between J and Z series; PX2 and S1 missing. Dorsal setae vary in length, with opisthonotal setae generally slightly longer than podonotal setae: j1 (14-20), j2 (16-21), j3 (20-33), j4 (21-34), j5 (20-28), j6 (22-34); z1 (8-14), z2, z4, z5, z6 (22-34); s1 (13-16), s2 (15-26), s3 (26-38), s4-6 (27-36); r2, r3, r4 and r5 (21-31); J1,J2 (21-28), J3 (18-28), J4 (25-34), J5 (29-39); Z1 (25-34), Z2-Z3 (18-30), Z4 (26-39), Z5 longest (40-50), S2-S4 (14-20), S5 (18-25). Cuticle between dorsal and ventral side of body bearing r6 (between s6 and Z1) and R5 (between S4-S5), length 8 and 12 µm long, respectively. Podonotal and opisthonotal regions with 9 and 10 pairs of lyrifissures and pore-like structures, respectively, as shown in Fig. 1.

Ventral idiosoma (Fig 2). Tritosternum with tubular base (23-26) and pilose laciniae (70-75). Pre-sternal area granulated, with a pair of distinct, although poorly sclerotized plates. Sternal shield with smooth surface, 111-114 long, 114-118 wide (at level of projection between coxae II-III), with very small notch anteromedially; posterior margin irregular, almost straight. Sternal setae smooth, st1, st2 and st3 (26-29), iv 1 slit-like, located slightly behind st1; iv2 pore-like, between st2-st3. Setae st4 (23-26) and pore-like iv3 located on integument. Tongue-shaped genital shield 127-135 long (including hyaline flap at base of posterior margin of sternal shield), 57-60 wide, bearing 1 pair of setae (st5 = 21-28) and a pattern of inverted v-shaped lines; paragenital pores (iv5) on soft integument near genital setae. Anal shield pyriform, reticulated, 65-70 long, 62-67 wide, post-anal seta (34-42) longer than paranal setae (18-22). Cribrum like a strip of teeth, extending laterally to level of post-anal seta. Opisthogastric surface with: 1 pair of suboval metapodal plates (12-15 × 3-6); 2 pairs of minute platelets (between metapodal plate and paragenital platelet); 1 pair of narrow, elongate paragenital platelets; 9 pairs of smooth setae, ZV1-4 and JV1-5 16-29 long; and 7 pairs of pore-like structures, plus 1 pair on lateral margin of anal shield.

Stigma surrounded by short, narrow, pointed stigmatal plate, which extends posteriorly past level of mid-coxae IV (a distance ca. thrice diameter of stigma). Peritremes long, extending to anterior of setae s1. Narrow endopodal platelet present mesad coxae III–IV. Narrow exopodal plate surrounding coxae IV, and small exopodal plate between coxae II–III.

Gnathosoma. Hypostome (Fig. 3) with 3 pairs of similar smooth simple setae; h1, h3 (20-26), h2 (15-17). Palpcoxal setae 15-18 long. Deutosternal groove with 6 rows of 8-10 denticles; corniculi normal, horn-like. Epistome rounded with fine denticulations at anterior margin (Fig. 4). Chelicerae (Fig. 5) normal for genus, arthrodial processes developed, moveable digit (40-45) with 2 teeth, middle article (105-120), fixed digit with 4 teeth + offset tooth (gabelzahn), setaceous pilus dentilis small. Palp chaetotaxy normal (sensu Evans and Till 1966), with simple setae except al on femur thickened, spine-like, al1 and al2 of genu thickened, al1 with tip rounded and al2 spine-like; palp apotele two-tined (Fig. 6).

Legs. Tarsi I–IV with claws and ambulacra. Legs I (432-442) and IV (382-397), longer than legs II (283-291) and III (255-270). Chaetotaxy of all leg segments normal for Gaeolaelaps (sensu Beaulieu 2009). Chaetotaxy of legs II and IV as shown in igures 7 and 8, respectively. Setae on legs I and III simple, slender; some setae on legs II and IV thickened or elongate, as follows. Leg II: femur (al2 and av2 short, slightly thickened, pd1 elongate, slender), genu (setae av1 and pv1 slightly thickened), tibia (av1 and pv1 slightly thickened), tarsus (all setae thickened, except al2-3, pl2-3, ad3 and pd3). Leg IV: trochanter (seta pv2 thickened), femur (seta pd thickened, ad1 elongate, slightly thickened), tibia (setae al1, av1 and pv1 thickened), tarsus (al1-3, av1-2, pl1-3 and pv1-2 thickened, ad2-3 and pd2-3 very elongate).

Insemination structures. Not seen.




The name of this new species refers to the currently known geographic range of the mite.


Gaeolaelaps iranicus sp. n. is differentiated by the following combination of characters: small size (330-400 long), the presence of four very long setae on tarsus IV (ad2, ad3, pd2 and pd3), and 36 pairs of dorsal setae, with the absence of PX2 and S1 on the opisthonotal part of the dorsal shield, and the presence of two pairs of r-setae (r6, R5) on soft cuticle, which are considerably shorter than the dorsal shield setae.

The dorsal shield chaetotaxy is not always properly described, especially in older descriptions. However, species with as few as 36 pairs of setae appear to be rare, but some species do lack one pair of PX setae, as found in Gaeolaelaps iranicus . Some specimens of Gaeolaelaps fishtowni ( Ruf and Koehler 1993) appear to lack seta PX3 but this species is larger than Gaeolaelaps iranicus (565-653), has thickened spine or spur-like setae on the femur, genu, tibia and tarsus of leg II and tarsus IV, and the dorsal shield is posteriorly attenuated.

Gaeolaelaps vanpletzeni ( Van Aswegen and Loots 1970) has 38 pairs of setae on dorsal shield, lacking the R series, and has only one pair of PX setae (PX2), while Gaeolaelaps iranicus sp. n. has 36 pairs of dorsal setae, with R5 and PX3 present. Gaeolaelaps spiniseta ( Barilo 1991) has 38 pairs of dorsal setae, with one pair of PX setae (PX2), a larger size (505-525), and with elongate spine-like setae on tarsus IV.

Gaeolaelaps kargi (Costa) has two elongate setae on tarsus IV, S1 and PX2-3 present, the postanal seta as long as the para-anal setae, and lacks elongate setae on genu IV. In contrast, Gaeolaelaps iranicus sp. n. has four elongate setae on tarsus IV, lacks S1 and PX2, the post-anal seta is considerably longer than the para-anal setae, and has two elongate setae (ad1 and pd1) on genu IV.

Gaeolaelaps nolli (Karg) has two elongate setae on tarsus IV, a short peritreme (extending to the middle part of coxae II) and has z3, PX2 and S2, while Gaeolaelaps iranicus sp. n. has four elongate setae on tarsus IV, a longer peritreme and lacks z3, PX2 and S2.

Some characters of Gaeolaelaps iranicus sp. n. seem to be unique, but again poor descriptions hinder comparisons from the literature. For example, the presence of elongate setae on the femur, genu and tibia of leg IV (ad1 on femur, ad1 and pd1 on genu, ad2-3 and pd2-3 on tarsus) is likely, in combination, to be unique in Gaeolaelaps . The length of leg segments and the relative lengths of the setae and their form may also be of taxonomic value. Hence we also report the following data relating to these characters: femur IV (80-82), ad1 (0.77 –0.87× the length of femur); genu IV (55-57), ad1 (0.77-0.91 × the length of genu), pd1 (0.77-0.86 × the length of genu); tarsus IV (91-99: basitarsus + telotarsus), (al1-3, av1-2, pl1-3 and pv1-2 thickened, ad2-3 and pd2-3 slender and very elongate: ad2-3 (0.55-0.57 and 0.66-0.69 × the length of tarsus IV respectively) and pd2-3 (0.74-0.83 and 0.94-1.02 × the length of tarsus IV respectively).