Summary: Biology, demography and community interactions of Tarsonemus
(Acarina: Tarsonemidae) mites phoretic on Dendroctonus frontalis
Mar§┬a J. Lombardero*, Kier D. Klepzig▓, John C. Moser▓ and Matthew P. Ayres*
*Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, U.S.A. and ▓Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service,
2500 Shreveport Highway, Pineville, LA 71360, U.S.A.
Abstract 1 Dendroctonus frontalis, the southern pine beetle, is associated with a diverse
community of fungi and mites that are phoretic on the adult beetles. Tarsonemus
ips, T. kranzti and T. fusarii (Acarina: Tarsonemidae) may interact within this
community in ways that link the population dynamics of D. frontalis, the mites
and three dominant species of fungi. We explored species associations by com-
paring the dietary suitability of different fungi for Tarsonemus spp.
2 All three mite species fed and reproduced at high rates when feeding on the blue-
stain fungus, Ophiostoma minus, which is an antagonist of D. frontalis larvae.
3 Mites also had positive population growth rates when feeding upon
Ceratocystiopsis ranaculosus, one of the mycangial fungi, but could barely repro-
duce when feeding upon Entomocorticium sp. A, the mycangial fungus that is
most suitable for D. frontalis.
4 During the time from colonization of a tree by D. frontalis adults until departure
from the tree of their progeny (╗ 40 d at 30 ░C), mite populations feeding upon