Mites Parasitic on Australasian and African Spiders Found in the Pet Trade; a Redescription of Ljunghia pulleinei Womersley
Masan, P., Simpson, C., Perotti, A. and Braig, H. (2012) Mites Parasitic on Australasian and African Spiders Found in the Pet Trade; a Redescription of Ljunghia pulleinei Womersley. PLoS ONE, 7 (6). e39019. ISSN 1932-6203
To link to this article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039019
Parasitic mites associated with spiders are spreading world-wide through the trade in tarantulas and other pet species. Ljunghia pulleinei Womersley, a mesostigmatic laelapid mite originally found in association with the mygalomorph spider Selenocosmia stirlingi Hogg (Theraphosidae) in Australia, is redescribed and illustrated on the basis of specimens from the African theraphosid spider Pterinochilus chordatus (Gersta¨cker) kept in captivity in the British Isles (Wales). The mite is known from older original descriptions of Womersley in 1956; the subsequent redescription of Domrow in 1975 seems to be questionable in conspecificity of treated specimens with the type material. Some inconsistencies in both descriptions are recognised here as intraspecific variability of the studied specimens. The genus Arachnyssus Ma, with species A. guangxiensis (type) and A. huwenae, is not considered to be a valid genus, and is included in synonymy with Ljunghia Oudemans. A new key to world species of the genus Ljunghia is provided.