A new genus of fungus-inhabiting mites of the family Blattisociidae (Acari Mesostigmata Phytoseioidea) from Costa Rica, with an updated key to genera of the subfamily Blattosociinae


The genus Discoseius gen. nov. is described, based on adult females of one newly described species collected from one sample of bracket fungi in Costa Rica. These ovoid mites bear a pair of large, pliable, disclike structures of unknown function, which flank a ventrianal shield that is strangely formed to accommodate the discs ventrally on the opisthosoma. Such uniquely formed structures have been found otherwise only in females of the monobasic eviphidid genus Canestriniphis, from specimens phoretic on erotylid beetles that live in bracket fungi. As female Discoseius are endowed with a sperm access system of the more derivative phytoseioid-type, while female Canestriniphis retain the sperm access system of the plesiomorphic laelapoid-type, this similarity is thought to be convergent. An updated key to the world genera of the subfamily Blattisociinae is presented to accommodate this and another recently proposed genus.


Blattisociidae; Phytoseioidea; fungus mites; Discoseius n. gen.; Canestriniphis; convergent attributes

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