Kunstidamaeus granulatus,

Miko, L., 2010, Taxonomy of European Damaeidae (Acari: Oribatida) III. Species of the Kunstidamaeus tenuipes (Michael, 1885) group, with a description of Kunstidamaeus fraterculus n. sp. from East Slovakia, Zootaxa 2327, pp. 51-64: 54-56

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Kunstidamaeus granulatus


Kunstidamaeus granulatus  (Willmann,1951) Figs. 3-4

Synonymy. Belba granulata  Willmann, 1951 Syn.: Damaeus granulata  (Schatz 1983).? Belba alpina  (Schweizer 1956)

Diagnosis. Large Kunstidamaeus  with body surface with finely dotted microsculpture, covered by distinct granular cerotegument. Sensillus shortened, distally with dense fine hairs. Prodorsum with two parallel, short longitudinal ridges in interbothridial area, and one transversal ridge more anteriorly. Spinae adnatae only slightly bent outwards. Notogastral setae relatively short, not exceeding insertions of subsequent setae, more or less bent, rigid, with spinuli or with slightly denticulate edge.

Material examined. Only mounted material from Willmann´s collection in Zoologische Staatsammlung in Munich was available for a study. The material is mostly in bad or very bad conditions, and does not allow more detailed study. Following slides were checked:

(1) Slide labelled " Belba granulata  Willm., det. C. Willmann "; " Fritz-Otto-Hoehle , Kaisergebirge, 1680 m, belichtete Einggs. Zone" with one relatively well preserved individual (Fig. 3A, 4A), perhaps the same used for Figure in description of the species (Willmann, 1951) 

(2) Slide labelled " Belba granulata  Willm., det. C. Willmann"; " Schneckenloch Vorraum, leg. Bizau, Bregenz.Wald 5.9.49 ”— with 3 individuals, dried, very bad condition not allowing study 

(3) Slide labelled " Belba granulata  n.sp., Det. C. Willmann; G (or S?, hardly readable manuscript) 297, with destroyed and badly observable individual, perhaps from the type series? 

(4) Slide labelled " Belba granulata  Willm., 1680 m, Det. C. Willmann "; Fritz-Otto-Hoehle , Kaisergeb. - belichtete Eing. —Zone”— damaged individual 

(5) Slide labelled identically as Nr. 4 above, with added "1125 µm”, damaged individual 

(6) Slide labelled " Belba granulata  Willm., det. C. Willmann "; " Fritz Otto Hoehle , Kaisergebirge, 1680 m, belichtete Eingangszone" with fragments of several very damaged and badly observable individuals 

(7) Slide labelled " Belba granulata  Willm., det. C. Willmann "; "HS 2/3 Hornschneide Zillert. Alp. 2700m" without cover glass, strongly damaged individual  .

Identity of the species was checked on the basis of Willmann´s determination, and—as far as conditions of slides allowed—by comparison of individuals against the slide Nr. 3. Individual from Slide Nr.1 was best observable as a whole, and therefore used as a basis for redescription. The details were contributed from slides Nr. 3, 4 and 5.

Redescription of adult. Body large (over 1 mm, one measured individual was 1090 µm long, other individual bears a label 1125 µm pencilled by Willmann), with slightly elongated, obovate notogaster. The shape of notogaster is deducted from original drawing (Willmann, 1951) and individual in slide Nr.1, the real shape is however hardly to describe, as all the individuals available were damaged (Figs. 3A,B). Cuticle with fine dotted microstructure, dots appearing in direct view as dense round pits or micropores, in more oblique view as microscopic channels through epicuticle, resembling so called “chagrenation” of some non-damaeid oribatids (Fig. 4B). Whole body covered by distinct, regular granulation, created by almost spherical granules of cerotegument which appear darker than the colour of body (Figs. 3B, 4B).

Prodorsum (Fig. 4A) in its basal part with several short but distinct ridges, 2 parallel longitudinal in interbothridial area, and one transversal ridge more anteriorly. Propodolateral apophysis P present, shaped as typical for Kunstidamaeus  , almost perpendicular to body (sometimes slightly oblique). Propodosomal tubercles Ba and La typically and distinctly developed. Sensillus (Fig. 4C) relatively short (measured on slides Nr. 1-152 µm; Nr. 3-154 µm; Nr. 4-125 µm), appearing as slightly broadened distally, with head (about half of total length) covered by dense fine hairs. From prodorsal setae (Fig. 4D), rostral and lamellar setae are relatively fine, long, setiform and at least slightly bent. The lamellar setae le are the longest, longer than sensillus (slide Nr.4 - 173 µm); rostral setae ro are as long as sensillus or slightly shorter (slide Nr. 4- 130 µm), and interlamellar setae in are distinctly shorter than sensillus (Slide Nr. 3-94 µm, Nr. 4-105 µm). Exobothridial setae were very hardly observable, but apparently shortest of the all, fine and bent. Parastigmatic apophyses hardly observable, nevertheless posterior apophyse Sp appears to be broad and blunt, without distinct sharp tip (Fig. 4A).

Notogaster with medium long, almost straight or bent slightly outwards spinae adnatae. Notogastral setae (Fig. 4E) quite robust, strong, shortening backwards, with very short spinuli or slight denticulation on the edge. Anterior setae more robust and more curved than posterior ones. Length of setae c 1 may reach over 100 µm (slide Nr. 5-95 µm; Nr. 4-114 µm), length of following setae is decreasing up to about half of the length of c1: c2 84 µm (slide Nr. 3), la 94 µm (Nr. 3 and 5), lm 76 µm (Nr. 5), lp 50-66 µm (Nr. 5 and 3), h2 41-66 µm (Nr. 5 and 3), h3 55-65 µm (Nr. 5 and 3). In individuals from Slide Nr. 7 all the setae and also sensillus are slightly longer and more distinctly covered by spinuli or fine hairs.

Ventral side is impossible to observe, unless perhaps the re-mount of slides will be approached.

Legs unfortunately very badly observable, according original drawing of Willmann relatively long (leg IV about 1,2 times longer than body). Leg setation impossible to complete on the observed material, available fragmented information corresponds with general pattern of Kunstidamaeus  .

Remarks. The species is only known from the localities of Austrian Alps, as indicated in original description and labels of material in Willmann's collection. All individuals were found in higher elevation (1680-2700 m), and species may be an endemic of high alpine zone, perhaps with some tendency to be cavernicolous or microcavernicolous. Schatz (pers.comm.) recorded findings of this species in Brenner Alps (Schmoelzer lgt.), and in Vorarlberg and Kaisergebirge (Janetschek lgt., Mihelcic det). Schweizer (1956) described a species Belba alpina  from Swiss Alps, which have been also found on high elevations (2300-3100 m), and shares many characters of K. granulatus  (large size 1050-1230 µm, same type and length of sensillus, granulation of surface, 2 pairs of prodorsal tubercles, notogastral setae strong and curved, c2 being the longest etc.). The only unclear character is the form and shape of propodolateral apophyses P, which is not discussed in detail by author, but which appears from his drawing quite large, more similar to Damaeus  s.str. As the setation of legs is unclear, it is impossible to decide definitively about synonymy without study of the Swiss material.