Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2022-05-20
Page range: 501-532
Abstract views: 309
PDF downloaded: 20

Complementary description of three species of Steneotarsonemus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) from rice agroecosystems of Eastern India with notes on their taxonomic status, spatial distribution, intraspecific variation and species composition

Department of Agricultural Entomology, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur-741252, West Bengal, India.
Department of Agricultural Entomology, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur-741252, West Bengal, India.
Department of Agricultural Entomology, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur-741252, West Bengal, India.
Acari Rice Taxonomy Intraspecific variation Eastern India Sheath mite


Rice agroecosystems are inhabited by a number of Steneotarsonemus species worldwide with various host plant relationships and taxonomic identities. To clarify this situation, a large-scale survey was initiated in rice growing belts of eastern India and this revealed the presence of four species of Steneotarsonemus viz. S. furcatus, S. konoi, S. spinki and S. subfurcatus. However, only S. spinki and S. subfurcatus were found infesting rice while the other species were found associated with a number of graminaceous weeds. We found three intraspecific variants within the population of S. spinki which are differentially distributed in nine separate locations covering four states across eastern India. A new subgenus Linzhangia is proposed for inclusion of exceptionally unique S. subfurcatus possessing setaceous v2 on prodorsum of female. Additionally, the population of S. spinki and S. subfurcatus were found to be differentially distributed across five different agroclimatic zones of West Bengal with S. spinki being the dominant species.



  1. Adhikari, B., Bag, M.K., Bhowmick, M.K. & Kundu, C. (2011) Rice knowledge management portal, Status paper on rice in West Bengal. Available from: (accessed 11.08.2021)
    Aguilar-Piedra, H., Solano-Guevara, A.M., Seeman, O.D. & Ochoa, R. (2021) Steneotarsonemus ananas (Acari: Tarsonemidae): a complementary description from Australian pineapples and a new pest on Neoregelia spp. (Bromeliaceae) in Costa Rica. Acarologia, 61 (4), 802–823.
    Albert, C.H., Thuiller, W., Yoccoz, N.G., Douzet, R., Aubert, S. & Lavorel, S. (2010) A multi-trait approach reveals the structure and the relative importance of intra-vs. interspecific variability in plant traits. Functional Ecology, 24 (6), 1192–1201.
    Amrine Jr, J.W., & Manson, D.C.M. (1996) 1.6.3 Preparation, mounting and descriptive study of eriophyoid mites. World Crop Pests, 6, 383–396.
    Banerjee, S., Mukherjee, A., Basu, B., Mukhopadhyay, S. & Saha, G. (2013) Contingency crop planning for different agroclimatic zones of West Bengal. AICRP on Agrometeorology, BCKV, Mohanpur, pp.1–13.
    Baumann, J. (2021) Patterns of intraspecific morphological variability in soil mites reflect their dispersal ability. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 83 (2), 241–255.
    Beer, R.E. (1958) A new species of Steneotarsonemus, and additional information on the plant-feeding habits of Steneotarsonemus furcatus De Leon (Acarina). Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 66 (3/4), 153–159.
    Beer, R.E. (1954) A revision of the Tarsonemidae of the Western Hemisphere (Order Acarina). The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 36 (16), 1091–1387.
    Blattner, L., Gerecke, R. & Von Fumetti, S. (2019) Hidden biodiversity revealed by integrated morphology and genetic species delimitation of spring dwelling water mite species (Acari, Parasitengona: Hydrachnidia). Parasites & Vectors, 12 (1), 492, 1–13.
    Des Roches, S., Post, D.M., Turley, N.E., Bailey, J.K., Hendry, A.P., Kinnison, M.T., Schweitzer, J.A. & Palkovacs, E.P. (2018) The ecological importance of intraspecific variation. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2 (1), 57–64.
    Emlen, D. J. (1994) Environmental control of horn length dimorphism in the beetle Onthophagus acuminatus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 256 (1346), 131–136.
    Forsman, A. (1999) Variation in thermal sensitivity of performance among colour morphs of a pygmy grasshopper. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 12 (5), 869–878.
    Ganguly, M., Mondal, P. & Karmakar, K. (2021) Taxonomic notes on subgenus Steneotarsonemoides (Acari: Tarsonemidae) with description of a new species of Steneotarsonemus from Tiger grass in the northern hill zone of West Bengal, India. Zootaxa, 5023 (3), 405–420.
    Ganguly, M., Mondal, P. & Karmakar, K. (2022). A new species of Steneotarsonemus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) infesting Maling bamboo from West Bengal, India with a key to the Indian species. International Journal of Acarology, 48 (2), 165–174.
    Garga, N., Proctor, H. & Belczewski, R. (1998) Leg size affects male mating success in Tarsonemus confusus Ewing (Prostigmata: Tarsonemidae). Acarologia, 38 (4), 369–375.
    Ghosh, B., Md, N.A. & Gantait, S. (2016) Response of rice under salinity stress: a review update. Rice Research: Open Access, 1–8.
    Hummel, N.A., Castro, B.A., McDonald, E.M., Pellerano, M.A. & Ochoa, R. (2009) The panicle rice mite, Steneotarsonemus spinki Smiley, a re-discovered pest of rice in the United States. Crop Protection, 28, 547–560.
    Kaliszewski, M., Suski, W. & Ridman, S. (1983) Individual variation in wild and laboratory reared specimens of Tarsonemus nodosus Schaarschmidt, 1959 (Acari: Tarsonemidae). Folia Entomologica Hungarica, 44, 63–81.
    Karmakar, K. (2008) Steneotarsonemus spinki Smiley (Acari: Tarsonemidae)—A yield reducing mite of rice crops in West Bengal, India. International Journal of Acarology, 34 (1), 95–99.
    Karmakar, K. (2016) The mites of the family Tarsonemidae (Acari: Heterostigmata) in West Bengal, India. Journal Acarological Society of Japan, 25 (S1), 77–81.
    Kayal, S., Karmakar, K. & de Moraes, G.J. (2021) Sources of infestation of the rice sheath mite, Steneotarsonemus spinki Smiley (Acari: Tarsonemidae), in West Bengal, India. International Journal of Pest Management, 1–7.
    Leponce, M., Noti, M. I., Bauchau, V., & Wauthy, G. (2001) ‘Vertition’ of integumental organs in mites revisited: a case of fluctuating asymmetry. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences-Series III-Sciences de la Vie, 324 (5), 425–431.
    Lin, J. & Zhang, Z.-Q. (2002) Tarsonemidae of the World (Acari: Prostigmata): Key to Genera, Geographical Distribution, Systematic Catalogue and Annotated Bibliography. Systematic & Applied Acarology Society, London, 440 pp.
    Lin, J.Z. & Zhang, Y.X. (1990) A new species of the genus Steneotarsonemus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) in Fujian. Acta Entomologica Sinica, 33 (3), 369–372.
    Lin, J. & Zhang, Z.-Q. (1999) Tarsonemidae of China (Acari: Prostigmata): an annotated and illustrated catalogue and bibliography. Systematic and Applied Acarology Special Publications, 3 (1), 1–120.
    Lin, J.-Z. & Zhang, Z.-Q. (2005) New Zealand species of Steneotarsonemus Beer (Acari: Tarsonemidae). Zootaxa, 1028, 1–22.
    Lin, J.-Z., Chen, J.-W. & Zhang, Y.-X. (2009) A new species of Steneotarsonemus Beer from sugarcane in Guangdong, China (Acari: Tarsonemidae). Systematic & Applied Acarology, 14, 225–235.
    Lindquist, E.E. (1978) On the synonymy of Tarsonemus waitei Banks, T. setifer Ewing, and T. bakeri Ewing, with redescription of species (Acari: Tarsonemidae). Canadian Entomologist, 110 (10), 1023–1048.
    Lindquist, E.E. (1986) The world genera of Tarsonemidae (Acari: Heterostigmata): a morphological, phylogenetic, and systematic revision, with a reclassification of family-group taxa in the Heterostigmata. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada, 136, 1–517.
    Livshits, I.Z., Mitrofanov, V.I. & Sharonov, A.A. (1982) Novye vidy kleschei roda Steneotarsonemus (Tarsonemidae, Acariformes). Biologicheskie Nauki, 10, 24–28.
    Lofego, A.C. & Gondim, M.G.C. (2006) A new species of Steneotarsonemus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) from Brazil. Systematic and Applied Acarology, 11 (2), 195–203.
    Magowski, W.L., Di Palma, A. & Khaustov, A.A. (1998) Ununguitarsonemus rarus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) a new species of mite associated with bark beetle from Crimea, Ukraine. Entomologica, 32, 139–151.
    Majumdar, R.B. & Karthikeyan, S. (1989) Flora Indicae, Enumeratio Monocotyledonae. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta, 283 pp.
    Mandal, U.K., Nayak, D.B., Mullick, S., Samui, A., Jana, A.K., Mahanta, K.K., Raut, S., Roy, S. & Burman, D. (2019) Trend analysis of weather parameters over Indian Sundarbans. Journal of Agrometeorology, 21 (3), 307–315.
    Messelink G.J. & van Holstein-Saj R. (2007) Biological control of the bulb scale mite Steneotarsonemus laticeps (Acari: Tarsonemidae) with Neoseiulus barkeri (Acari: Phytoseiidae) in amaryllis. IOBC WPRS Bulletin, 30(5), 81.
    Mitrofanov V.I. & Sharonov A.A. (1988) On the systematic position of genera Tarsonemus Canestrini & Fanzago 1876 and Steneotarsonemus Beer 1954 with singling out two new subgenus and description of two new species. Nauchnye Doklady Vysshei Shkoly Biologicheskie Nauki, 1, 42–50.
    Moczek, A.P. & Emlen, D.J. (2000) Male horn dimorphism in the scarab beetle, Onthophagus taurus: do alternative reproductive tactics favour alternative phenotypes? Animal Behaviour, 59 (2), 459–466.
    Moczek, A.P. (2010) Phenotypic plasticity and diversity in insects. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 365 (1540), 593–603.
    Mohanasundaram, M. (1984) Some tarsonemid mites from Tamil Nadu, India (Acari: Tarsonemidae). Oriental Insects, 18(1), 79–85.
    Mondal, P., Ganguly, M., Karmakar, K., Lofego, A.C. & de Moraes, G.J. (2021) A new species of Steneotarsonemus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) from common reed grass, Phragmites australis (Poaceae) in the wetlands of Eastern India. International Journal of Acarology, 47 (4), 289–300.
    Mondal, P., & Karmakar, K. (2021). A new genus Bongotarsonemus with two new species of tarsonemid (Acari: Heterostigmata) mites discovered from the Himalayan forests of West Bengal, India. Zootaxa, 5072 (6), 575-591.
    Moran, N.A. (1991) Phenotype fixation and genotypic diversity in the complex life cycle of the aphid Pemphigus betae. Evolution, 45 (4), 957–970.
    Nath, A., Samanta, S., Banerjee, S., Danda, A.A. & Hazra, S. (2021) Threat of arsenic contamination, salinity and water pollution in agricultural practices of Sundarban Delta, India, and mitigation strategies. SN Applied Sciences, 3 (5), 560, 1–15.
    Navia, D., Mendes, M. A. S., & Ochoa, R. (2006) Steneotarsonemus furcatus de Leon (Prostigmata: Tarsonemidae) infesting rice crops in Brazil. International Journal of Acarology, 32 (2), 219–222.
    Návia, D., Moraes, G.J.D., Lofego, A.C. & Flechtmann, C.H. (2005) Acarofauna associada a frutos de coqueiro (Cocos nucifera L.) de algumas localidades das Américas. Neotropical Entomology, 34, 349-354.Omar, N.A. (2011) A new species of the genus Steneotarsonemus Beer (Actinedida: Tarsonemidae) from Egypt. Acarines, 5, 3–5.
    Ozawa, R., Endo, H., Iijima, M., Sugimoto, K., Takabayashi, J., Gotoh, T. & Arimura, G.I. (2017) Intraspecific variation among tetranychid mites for ability to detoxify and to induce plant defenses. Scientific Reports, 7 (1), 1–11.
    Petty, G.J., Tustin, H.A. & Dicks, H.M. (2006) Control of black spot disease/fruitlet core rot in queen pineapple with integrated mealybug, pineapple fruit mite and fungus control programmes. In: V International Pineapple Symposium, South Africa, 702, 143–149.
    Saito Y. (1995) Clinal variation in male-to-male antagonism and weaponry in a subsocial mite. Evolution, 49, 413–417.
    Saito, Y., Sato, Y., Chittenden, A.R., Lin, J.Z. & Zhang, Y.X. (2018). Description of two new species of Stigmaeopsis, Banks 1917 (Acari, Tetranychidae) inhabiting Miscanthus grasses (Poaceae). Acarologia, 58 (2), 414–429.
    Scranton, K., Stavrinides, M., Mills, N.J. & De Valpine, P. (2013) Small-scale intraspecific life history variation in herbivorous spider mites (Tetranychus pacificus) is associated with host plant cultivar. PloS one, 8 (9), e72980.
    Seeman, O.D., Loch, D.S., Knihinicki, D.K. & McMaugh, P.E. (2016) A new species of Steneotarsonemus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) from kikuyu grass, Pennisetumclandestinum (Poaceae), in Australia. Systematic and Applied Acarology, 21 (7), 889–906.
    Seeman, O.D., Beard, J.J. & Zhang, L. (2017) A new Australian species of Eotetranychus (Acari: Tetranychidae) from buck spinifex Triodia mitchelli (Poaceae), intraspecific variation in Eotetranychus, and the synonymy of Platytetranychus with Eotetranychus. Zootaxa, 4324 (3), 491–517.
    Sharonov, A.A., Livshits, I.Z. & Mitrofanov, V.I. (1982) Palearctic phytophagous mite species of genus Steneotarsonemus Beer, 1954. In: Livshits (Eds.) Proceedings of Pests and Diseases of Fruit and Ornamental Crops of the Crimea. State Nikita Botanical Garden, pp. 28–33.
    Shepherd, B.L., Prange, H.D. & Moczek, A.P. (2008) Some like it hot: Body and weapon size affect thermoregulation in horned beetles. Journal of Insect Physiology, 54 (3), 604–611.
    Simmons, L.W. & Emlen, D.J. (2006) Evolutionary trade-off between weapons and testes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103 (44), 16346–16351.
    Simpson, S.J., Sword, G.A. & Lo, N. (2011) Polyphenism in insects. Current Biology, 21 (18), R738–R749.
    Sinha, T.S. & Bandyopadhyay, A.K. (1984) Rice in coastal saline land of West Bengal, India. In: Workshop on Research Priorities in Tidal Swamp Rice, IRRI, Philippines. pp. 115–118.
    Smiley, R.L., Flechtmann, C.H. & Ochoa, R. (1993) A new species of Steneotarsonemus (Acari: Tarsonemidae) and an illustrated key to grass-infesting species in the Western Hemisphere. International Journal of Acarology, 19 (1), 87–93.
    StAalstedt, J., Bergsten, J. & Ronquist, F. (2013) “Forms” of water mites (Acari: Hydrachnidia): intraspecific variation or valid species? Ecology and Evolution, 3 (10), 3415–3435.
    Stekolnikov, A.A. (2006) Geographical variation in the species Montivagum dihumerale and speciation in chigger mites (Acari: Trombiculidae). Parazitologiia, 40 (1), 26–46.
    Suski, Z.W. (1967) Tarsonemid mites on apple trees in Poland. IX. Tarsonemus pauperoseatus n. sp. (Acarina, Heterostigmata). Bulletin de L’Acadernie Polonaise des Sciences, CI. V, 15 (5), 267–272.
    Tanaka, S., Harano, K.I. & Nishide, Y. (2012) Re-examination of the roles of environmental factors in the control of body-color polyphenism in solitarious nymphs of the desert locust Schistocerca gregaria with special reference to substrate color and humidity. Journal of insect physiology, 58 (1), 89–101.
    Tixier, M.S., dos Santos Vicent, V., Douin, M., Duso, C. & Kreiter, S. (2017) Great molecular variation within the species Phytoseius finitimus (Acari: Phytoseiidae): implications for diagnosis decision within the mite family Phytoseiidae. Acarologia, 57 (3), 493–515.
    Tixier, M.S., Kreiter, S., Croft, B.A. & Cheval, B. (2008) Kampimodromus aberrans (Acari: Phytoseiidae) from the USA: morphological and molecular assessment of its density. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 98 (2), 125–134.
    Violle, C., Enquist, B.J., McGill, B.J., Jiang, L.I.N., Albert, C.H., Hulshof, C., Jung, V. & Messier, J. (2012) The return of the variance: intraspecific variability in community ecology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 27 (4), 244–252.
    Wauthy, G., Noti, MI, Leponce, M. & Bauchau, V. (1998) Taxy and variations of leg setae and solenidia in Tetranychus urticae (Acari, Prostigmata). Acarologia, 39 (3), 233-255.
    Wheeler, D.E. & Nijhout, H.F. (1983) Soldier determination in Pheidole bicarinata: effect of methoprene on caste and size within castes. Journal of Insect Physiology, 29 (11), 847–854.
    Xu, G.L., Wu, H.J., Huan, Z.L., Mo, G. & Wan, M. (2001) Study on reproductive characteristics of rice mite, Steneotarsonemus spinki Smiley (Acari: Tarsonemidae). Systematic and Applied Acarology, 6, 45–49.
    Xue, B. & Leibler, S. (2018) Benefits of phenotypic plasticity for population growth in varying environments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115 (50), 12745–12750.
    Yadav, S., Stow, A.J., Harris, R.M. & Dudaniec, R.Y. (2018) Morphological variation tracks environmental gradients in an agricultural pest, Phaulacridium vittatum (Orthoptera: Acrididae). Journal of Insect Science, 18 (6), 13, 1–10.