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First report on the occurrence of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis (Nesbitt) (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in India with a redescription of the species

Sreerama Kumar, Prakya 1 and Gupta, Salil Kumar2

1Indian Council of Agricultural Research – National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources, P.O. Box 2491, H.A. Farm Post, Hebbal, Bengaluru 560 024, India.
2Medicinal Plants Research and Extension Centre, Ramakrishna Mission, Narendrapur, Kolkata 700 103, India.

2021 - Volume: 61 Issue: 1 pages: 55-61

Original research


predatory mites new record Karnataka


This paper reports for the first time the occurrence of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis (Nesbitt) in India. Morphometric measurements of the Indian specimens collected on an unidentified plant in Ramanagara district of Karnataka are provided along with a redescription of the species, and a comparison with specimens from Japan, Africa, Argentina and La Réunion Island to show similarities and variations in morphological traits of taxonomic importance.


The family Phytoseiidae contains predatory mites used in biological control. It comprises three subfamilies: Amblyseiinae, Phytoseiinae and Typhlodrominae. Within the subfamily Typhlodrominae, the genus Typhlodromus contains the highest number of species, and is divided into two subgenera, Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) De Leon and Typhlodromus (Typhlodromus) Scheuten (Chant and McMurtry 1994, 2007). There are 388 described species of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) in the world (Demite et al. 2020).

Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis (Nesbitt), the species reported herein, is widely distributed in many tropical and subtropical parts of the world, viz. Algeria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cameroon, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Georgia, Guinea, Hawaii, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, New Caledonia, Panama, Philippines, La Réunion Island, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan and USA (Moraes et al. 2004; Ueckermann et al. 2008; Demite et al. 2020). Nesbitt (1951) first described this species from ground peanuts in Transvaal (South Africa) and from Rattus sp. in Florida, USA. It occurs on a great variety of plants (Muma and Denmark 1970), including sugarcane, Saccharum officinarum L., in South Africa (Ueckermann et al. 2008); chilli, Capsicum annuum L., and tomato, Lycopersicum esculentum Mill., in Argentina (Cédola and Castresana 2014); and ribwort plantain, Plantago lanceolata L., and rescuegrass, Bromus catharticus Vahl, in La Réunion Island (Kreiter et al. 2020). It was reported in laboratory cultures of mites such as the phytoseiid Scapulaseius okinawanus (Ehara) (Ehara and Kishimoto 2007), the pyroglyphid Dermatophagoides sp. and the otopheidomenid Nabiseius sp. (Prasad 1968). Kreiter et al. (2020) found this species in rearings of Franklinothrips sp. and of unnamed beneficial insects in La Réunion Island, while Ueckermann et al. (2008) found it in a Galleria sp. colony in Kenya, and on the scale insect Coccus viridis (Green) in Cape Verde. The other habitats from where it was recorded earlier are: donkey's dunghill and chocolates in Israel (Amitai and Swirski 1978), an unlabelled stored commodity in the Philippines (Corpuz-Raros et al. 1988) and soil in South Africa (Ueckermann et al. 2008).

Since the present report of T. (A.) transvaalensis is the first from India, morphometric measurements of the Indian specimens collected on an unidentified plant in Ramanagara district of Karnataka are provided along with a redescription of the species. In addition, morphological traits of the Indian specimens are compared with those reported in redescriptions provided by Ehara and Kishimoto (2007), Ueckermann et al. (2008), Cédola and Castresana (2014) and Kreiter et al. (2020) for specimens collected in Japan, Africa, Argentina and La Réunion Island, respectively. All measurements are given in micrometres (µm).

Systematic account

Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis (Nesbitt)

Kampimodromus transvaalensis Nesbitt 1951: 55.

Typhlodromus transvaalensis, Chant 1955: 498.

Typhlodromus (Typhlodromus) transvaalensis, Chant 1959: 60.

Neoseiulus transvaalensis, Muma 1961: 295.

Typhlodromus (Neoseiulus) transvaalensis, Pritchard & Baker 1962: 222.

Typhlodromus transvaalensis, Chant & Baker 1965: 5.

Clavidromus transvaalensis, Muma & Denmark 1968: 238.

Mumaseius transvaalensis, Abbasova 1970: 1410.

Anthoseius (Anthoseius) transvaalensis, Wainstein & Vartapetov 1973: 104.

Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis, Chant & McMurtry 1994: 252.

Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis, Moraes et al. 2004: 355.

Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis, Chant & McMurtry 2007: 157.

Typhlodromus (Anthosieus) transvaalensis, Ehara & Kishimoto 2007: 139–143.

Typhlodromus (Anthosieus) transvaalensis, Ueckermann et al. 2008: 99–101.

Typhlodromus (Anthosieus) transvaalensis, Cédola & Castresana 2014: 61–63.

Typhlodromus (Anthosieus) transvaalensis, Kreiter et al. 2020: 183–184.

Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) jackmickleyi, De Leon 1958: 75. (synonymized by Muma & Denmark 1968)

Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) jackmickleyi, van der Merwe 1968: 23. (synonymized by Muma & Denmark 1968)

Typhlodromus pectinatus, Athias-Henriot 1958: 179. (synonymized by Muma & Denmark 1968)


Dorsum — Dorsal shield 345 (343–346) long (from base of seta j1 up to posterior margin of shield), 200 (196–210) wide (at seta R1 level), gently reticulate, highly sclerotized with a total of 18 pairs of setae and 4 pairs of solenostomes. All setae, excepting J5, z2 and S5, on dorsal shield are long, gently serrated or sparsely plumose and knobbed (Figure 1); J5 and S5 are short and smooth with a pointed tip, but z2 is serrated with a pointed tip. Measurements of setae: j1 24 (23–25), j3 36 (33–37), j4 28 (27–29), j5 32 (31–33), j6 34 (33–35), J2 42 (40–43), J5 8 (7–9), z2 22 (21–23), z3 36 (35–37), z4 40 (38–41), z5 30 (29–31), Z4 51 (50–53), Z5 52 (51–53), s4 42 (41–43), s6 44 (43–45), S2 42 (41–43), S4 44 (43–45), S5 10(8–10), r3 20 (19–21), R1 36 (34–37).

Figure 1. Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis (adult female): sparsely plumose and knobbed setae on the dorsal shield, 630×, differential interference contrast microscopy.

Peritreme — Peritreme extends anteriorly up to the level of j3 base and posteriorly gently curves inwards near coxa IV.

Venter — Sternal shield 130 (128–132) long at the level of st1–st3, 78 (77–79) wide at the level of st3–st3, with 3 pairs of sternal setae, posterior margin of sternal shield markedly indented medially, sternal setae measure st1 24 (22–25), st2 26 (25–27), st3 26 (25–27). Metasternal plate measures 10 (9–10) long, 4 (3–4) wide with a pair of setae, st4 24 (23–24). Genital shield 80 (79–81) wide at the level of posterior margin, st5 30 (28–31). Ventrianal shield 115 (112–120) long at the level of JV1 up to posterior tip of shield, 72 (71–73) wide at the level of ZV2, 74 (72–75) wide at the level of anus, with 3 pairs of setae, JV1 24 (22–25), ZV2 24 (23–24), JV2 24 (23–25) with 1 pair of preanal pores. Metapodal plate I 26 (24–27) long, 3 wide, and metapodal plate II 10 (9–10) long, 2 wide. Anal and postanal setae measure 16 (15–17). Ratios of JV1/JV1JV1 = 0.5, JV2/JV2JV2 = 0.5, ZV2/ZV2ZV2 =0.32. Setae around ventrianal shield ZV1 24 (23–25), ZV3 14 (13–15), JV4 14 (13–15), JV5 56 (54–57), the latter setae gently serrated with a knobbed tip.

Chelicera — Fixed digit 30 (28–30) long with 2 teeth and a long, thin pilus dentilis, movable digit 28 (27–29) long with a barely discernible tooth (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis (adult female): chelicera, 630×, differential interference contrast microscopy.

Spermatheca — Calyx 30 (28–31) long, fundibuliform, with distal ¼ thick walled, atrium nodular, major duct highly sclerotized, minor duct invisible.

Legs — Leg IV with 3 knobbed macrosetae measuring Sge IV 26 (25–27), Sti IV 27 (26–28), St IV 45 (43–46). No macrosetae on legs I–III. Leg chaetotactic formula: genu II 2 2/0 2/0 1, tibia II 11/1 2/1 1, genu III 1 2/1 2/0 1, tibia III 11/1 2/1 1.


Not found, probably because this species is known to reproduce by thelytokous parthenogenesis (Kishimoto 2015).

Specimens examined

Twenty females, India: Karnataka, Ramanagara district, Channapatna taluk (subdivision), Vandaraguppe Horticultural Station (12°41'15.4'' N, 77°14'13.6'' E), on an unidentified plant, 29 November 2019, collected by Prakya Sreerama Kumar, deposited in the Mite Repository of ICAR–National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources.


Table 1 gives a comparison of morphological traits of taxonomic importance for specimens of T. (A.) transvaalensis collected in India, Japan, Africa, Argentina and La Réunion Island.

Table 1. Comparison of morphological traits of taxonomic importance for specimens of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) transvaalensis collected in India, Japan, Africa, Argentina and La Réunion Island [mean (range) or mean ± SE for Japan; number of specimens in parentheses].

The Indian specimens are the smallest as indicated by the dimensions of dorsal and ventrianal shields. Globally, the Indian specimens have shorter setae, particularly j1, j3, j4, j6, J2, z2, z3, z4, Z4, Z5, s4, s6, S2, S4, r3 and R1 than specimens collected in other countries. On the contrary, z5 and S5 are longer, while j5 has a similar length.

Although the dorsal setae of Indian specimens are sparsely plumose, they do not look like those of the Argentinian specimens described and illustrated as plumose by Cédola and Castresana (2014). The Indian specimens are similar to the Japanese specimens (Ehara and Kishimoto 2007) in regard to the setae J5, z2 and S5, which have a pointed tip.

In regard to the macrosetae of leg IV, the Indian specimens are comparable to that of the African and La Réunionese specimens. It can be concluded that the differences between Indian and other specimens are very likely to correspond to intraspecific variations. It is worth noting that the Indian specimens are closer to the African specimens than to those from other regions.

Forty-one species of the genus Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) are reported from India (Demite et al. 2020), and T. (A.) transvaalensis is the 42nd species to be added to that list.

Typhlodromus (A.) transvaalensis is a type III generalist predator that feeds on mites, insects and pollen (McMurtry et al. 2013). It could complete its life cycle feeding on the eriophyid mites Eriophyes dioscoridis Soliman and Abou-Awad and E. olivi Zaher and Abou-Awad, eggs of the scale insect Parlatoria ziziphus (Lucas) and pollen of Ricinus communis (L.) under experimental conditions (Momen and Hussein 1999). Cañarte et al. (2017) showed that it has high potential to control Polyphagotarsonemus latus (Banks) in Jatropha curcas L. plantations.

Mass production and utilization of this species are planned for biological control in India (Gupta and Sreerama Kumar 2018).


We thank Mr S. Pandian for processing and slide-mounting the mites. We are also thankful to Dr Jagadeesh Patil for imaging the specimens with Zeiss Axio Imager Z2.


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