Lasiobelba

Dorsal (left) and ventral views of Lasiobelba minor, from Balogh & Balogh (1992 vol. 2).

Belongs within: Oppioidea.

Lasiobelba is a pantropical genus of oppiid oribatid mites exhibiting notogastral heterotrichy (i.e. the presence of setae of noticeably different lengths on the notogaster).

Lasiobelba: the oppiid way
Published 1 November 2016
Lateral view (minus legs) of Lasiobelba pontica, from Vasiliu & Ivan (2011).

The animal illustrated above is a typical representative of Lasiobelba, a cosmopolitan genus of oribatid mites. Lasiobelba includes over thirty species of the family Oppiidae (Ermilov et al. 2014), commonly recognised as the most diverse family of oribatids. Oppiids are inhabitants of soils, where they primarily feed on fungi. Distinctive features of Lasiobelba within the Oppiidae include the absence of costulae (thickened ridges) on the prodorsum, and the presence of nine to ten pairs of setae on the notogaster that are inserted in two or four subparallel rows. The bothridial setae (the large sensory setae near the corners of the prodorsum) may be spindle-shaped at the ends or linearly hair-like; the two bothridial morphologies are used to distinguish two subgenera Lasiobelba and Antennoppia, respectively.

As is common for oribatids, there doesn’t seem to be much information available for this genus beyond taxonomic studies. Lasiobelba species are most diverse in tropical and subtropical regions, with few reaching colder parts of the world. When they described the species L. pontica from the Movile Cave in Romania, Vasiliu & Ivan (2011) noted that this genus was otherwise unknown from the country. They suggested that this species might represent a relict of a warmer era that had managed to survive in the stable environment of the cave system after inclement conditions had driven it from the surface.

Systematics of Lasiobelba

Characters (from Balogh & Balogh 1992): Prodorsum with costulae, lamellar and translamellar lines absent; interlamellar setae present; sensillus setiform or setiform and lanceolate. Notogastral heterotrichy present, with five or six pairs of long notogastral setae; crista absent. Genital plates with five pairs of setae.

<==Lasiobelba Aoki 1959S04
    |--L. (Lasiobelba) [incl. Cilioppia Balogh 1983]S04
    |    |--*L. (L.) remota Aoki 1959S04 [=Oppia remotaBM67]
    |    |--L. (L.) arabica Mahunka 2000S04
    |    |--L. (L.) arcidiaconoae (Bernini 1973) [=Oppia arcidiaconoae]S04
    |    |--L. (L.) decui (Vasiliu & Ivan 1995) [=Cilioppia decui]S04
    |    |--L. (L.) gibbosa (Mahunka 1985) [=Oppia gibbosa]S04
    |    |--L. (L.) hesperidiana (Pérez-Íñigo 1986) [=Cilioppia hesperidiana]S04
    |    |--L. (L.) insulata Ohkubo 2001S04
    |    |--L. (L.) kuehnelti (Csiszár 1961) [=Oppia kuehnelti; incl. O. yodai Aoki 1965]S04
    |    |--L. (L.) lemuria Mahunka 1997S04
    |    |--L. (L.) neonominata Subías 2004 [=Oppia yodai africana Kok 1967 non O. africana Evans 1953]S04
    |    |--L. (L.) pori (Vasiliu & Ivan 1995) [=Cilioppia pori]S04
    |    |--L. (L.) rubida (Wallwork 1977) [=Oppia rubida]S04
    |    |--L. (L.) sculpta Wang 1993S04
    |    |--L. (L.) subuligera (Berlese 1916)S04 [=Damoeosoma denticulatum var. subuligerumB16]
    |    |--L. (L.) suchetae Sanyal 1992S04
    |    |--L. (L.) vietnamica Balogh 1983S04
    |    `--L. (L.) yunnanensis Wen 1999S04
    `--L. (Antennoppia Mahunka 1983)S04 [incl. Daedaloppia Hauser & Mahunka 1983 (n. n.)S04, M01]
         |--L. (*A.) minor (Mahunka 1983) [=*Antennoppia minor]S04
         |--L. (A.) abschasica (Golosova & Tarba 1974) [=Oppia abchasica]S04
         |--L. (A.) capilligera (Berlese 1916)S04 [=Damoeosoma capilligerumB16]
         |--L. (A.) granulata (Mahunka 1986) [=Antennoppia granulata]S04
         |--L. (A.) heterosa (Wallwork 1964) [=Oppia heterosa]S04
         |--L. (A.) insignis Balogh 1970S04
         |--L. (A.) izquierdoae Arillo, Gil-Martín & Subías 1994S04
         |--L. (A.) major (Mahunka 1983) [=Antennoppia major]S04
         |--L. (A.) quadriseta Subías 1989 [incl. L. icaria Mahunka 2001]S04
         |--L. (A.) rigida (Ewing 1909) [=Damaeus rigidus]S04
         |--L. (A.) subnitida (Sellnick 1924) [=Dameosoma subnitidum]S04
         |--L. (A.) trichoseta (Mahunka 1983) [=Antennoppia trichoseta]S04
         |--L. (A.) ultraciliata (Jacot 1934)S04 [=Dameosoma ultraciliatumS04, Oppia ultraciliataS59]
         `--L. (A.) yoshii (Mahunka 1987) [=Antennoppia yoshii]S04

*Type species of generic name indicated

References

Balogh, J., & P. Balogh. 1992. The Oribatid Mites Genera of the World vol. 1. Hungarian Natural History Museum: Budapest.

[BM67] Balogh, J., & S. Mahunka. 1967. New oribatids (Acari) from Vietnam. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 13 (1–2): 39–74.

[B16] Berlese, A. 1916. Centuria terza di Acari nuovi. Redia 12: 289–338.

Ermilov, S. G., U. Ya. Shtanchaeva, L. S. Subías & J. Martens. 2014. Two new species of oribatid mites of Lasiobelba (Acari, Oribatida, Oppiidae) from Nepal, including a key to all species of the genus. ZooKeys 424: 1–17.

[M01] Mahunka, S. 2001. Cave-dwelling oribatid mites from Greece (Acari: Oribatida). (Neue und interessante Milben aus dem Genfer Museum XLIX). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 108 (1): 165–188.

[S59] Sellnick, M. 1959. Acarina from southeastern Polynesia—II (Oribatidae). Occasional Papers of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum 22 (9): 109–152.

[S04] Subías, L. S. 2004. Listado sistemático, sinonímico y biogeográfico de los ácaros oribátidos (Acariformes, Oribatida) del mundo (1758–2002). Graellsia 60 (número extraordinario): 3–305.

Vasiliu, N. A., & O. Ivan. 2011. New oppiid species (Acari, Oribatida, Oppiidae) from Romanian caves. Trav. Inst. Spéol. “Émile Racovitza” 50: 3–14.

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