Date of this Version
Comparative Parasitology 82(1), 2015, pp. 81–84
Gigantolaelaps scolomys Gettinger and Gardner n. sp., an ectoparasitic mite (Acari: Laelapidae) associated with the rodent Scolomys melanops in Amazonian forests of Peru, is described and illustrated.
Mites of the genus Gigantolaelaps Fonseca are common ectoparasites associated exclusively with rodents of the sigmodontine tribe Oryzomyini (see Gettinger, 1987). They are often abundant in the dorsal pelage and are easily collected by brushing the host at capture. The laelapine populations sampled are female dominant; males and immatures are assumed to live within the nest of the host (Martins-Hatano et al., 2011). A new species was encountered in a small collection of specimens of Gigantolaelaps brushed from 2 individuals of the spiny rodent, Scolomys melanops, in the Peruvian Amazon near Iquitos (Hice, 2001; Hice and Velazco, 2012). Of all the known species of Gigantolaelaps with the holotrichous condition for tibia IV and a gnathosome with deutosternal groove bearing only 6 rows of denticles (Furman, 1972), the new species is similar to species infecting a complex of arboreal rodents (Oecomys spp.) but is clearly separated by the morphological characters detailed below.