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Chigger mites (Acari: Trombiculidae) from Makalu Region in Nepal Himalaya, with a description of three new species

M. Daniel and A.A. Stekolnikov

Journal of Medical Entomology, 46 (4): 753-765 (2009).


Three new species of chigger mites, Neotrombicula kounickyi sp. n., Leptotrombidium angkamii sp. n., and Doloisia vlastae sp. n., are described from two species of small mammals collected in the Barun Glacier Valley, Makalu region, Nepal Himalaya. 

Neotrombicula kounickyi sp. n. is very close to N. macrovulgaris Stekolnikov, 1999 and differs from it in having six sternal setae (fSt = 2.4 versus 2.2), shorter legs (Ip = 891—965 versus 970—1010, TaIII = 74—81 versus 84—88), and microtarsala I (f1) situated at the level of tarsala or slightly proximad versus microtarsala I distad of tarsala. 

Leptotrombidium angkamii sp. n. differs from all other Leptotrombidium s.str. in having one genuala I versus two genualae I. It is close to L. robustisetum Yu et al., 1983 and differs from it, besides the above character, in having longer legs (Ip = 1030—1112 versus 915), shorter AM (43—59 versus 63—73) and PL (53—60 versus 63—70), and sensilla branched in distal half only versus sensilla bearing short cilia in proximal part and branched in distal part. 

Doloisia vlastae sp. n. is similar to D. zentokii Suzuki, 1976 and differs from it in the absence of parasubterminala on leg tarsus I, all palpal setae branched (fPp = B/B/BBB versus B/B/NNB), much larger scutum (AW = 44—50 versus 23—25, PW = 85—98 versus 53—62, SB = 37—39 versus 23—25, ASB = 29—32 versus 23, SD = 53—55 versus 40—48), longer setae (AM = 47—49 versus 29—33, PL = 72—81 versus 45—50), and much longer legs (pa = 412—428, pm = 356—371, pp = 430—448, and TaIII = 115—122 versus 240, 210, 270, and 64). Doloisia vlastae sp. n. is remarkable for its high number of setae on tarsi (I — 41, II — 30, and III — 30). 

Two species, Trombiculindus mehtai Fernandes et Kulkarni, 2003 and Cheladonta ikaoensis (Sasa et al., 1951) are recorded for the first time in Nepal. Data on altitude distribution of chiggers and their host preferences are given.

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