Summary: Airoldi, J.-P., Solomon, L. & Duca, A.-V. (1989). The Gamasids (Acari) in the nests of the
fossorial form of the water vole (Arvicola terrestris L.). Revue suisse Zool. 96 (1) : 161-189. (In
French, English summary)
A total number of 37'288 mites were collected through the Berlese technique from 63 Arvicola
terrestris L. nests in 13 localities in Switzerland, at altitudes ranging between 420 and 1780 m,
from the following habitats: pastures, mountain meadows, orchards and lowland hayfields.
The acarocenosis was dominated by Gamasids (88.5 %) among which 55 species could be
identified. The most common were: Androlaelaps fahrenholzi (59.9 % of the total mites and
found in 48 nests), Hirstionyssus isabellinus (9.0 %; 45), Haemogamasus nidi (7.6 %; 47),
Laelaps stabularis (4.4 %; 41), Garmania hypudaei (3.0 %; 24), Hypoaspis heselhausi (1.9 %;
9), Alliphis siculus (0.9 %; 21), Haemogamasus hirsutus (0.7 %; 12), Macrocheles decoloratus
(0.3 %; 17), Laelaps muris (0.3 %; 18) and Parasitus remberti (0.2 %; 20). All the other species
amounted to less than 0.1 % each, and were found in 6 nests or less. A comparison with Microtus
arvalis, Pitymys subterraneus, Clethrionomys glareolus and Talpa europaea, based on literature
data, is given.
The number of Gamasids correlated strongly with the dry weight of the nest material, but not
with its volume, and with the number of species. A negative correlation was found with the
equitability (Shannon's H over Hmax); this index was high in spring and summer and lowest in
winter and in hayfields; it was also higher in meadows, pastures and orchards than in hayfields.
In the seasonal dynamics, A.f., (adults and preadult stage) had a maximum in winter; H.i. (mostly