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Four Species of Oribatid Mites (Acari: Oribatida) from Central and Southern Mongolia, with Notes on the Genera Montizetes and Zachvatkinibates

Badamdorj Bayartogtokh
Faculty of Biology, National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar 210646, Mongolia


In the present work four species of oribatid mites from central and southern parts of Mongolia are studied, and two of them, namely Zachvatkinibates mongolicus sp. nov. and Montizetes serratus sp. nov. are described as new to science. Two other species, Kunstella foveolata Krivolutsky and Liebstadia pannonica(Wil1mann) are recorded as new to the fauna of Mongolia, and the latter species is reported for the first time from Asia. Description of new and redescription of known species, and data on geographic distribution of known species are given. Anew combination, Montizetes tianshanensis (Wen) comb. nov. is proposed. Identification keys to the world species of the genera Zachvatkinibates and Montizetes are provided.

Keyword: Acari,Oribatida,Zachvatkinibates,Montizetes,Kunstella,Liebstadia,Mongolia


The study on biodiversity of oribatid mites of Mongolia is relatively recent and is the subject of ongoing research as part of biodiversity assessments in various ecosystems of the country. Among soil microarthropods, the oribatid mites are one of the numerically dominant groups in different natural habitats, .and their description should facilitate further ecological and biogeographical studies on this fauna. In the course of taxonomic and ecological studies of oribatid mites of Mongolia, several interesting species belonging to the genera Zachvatkinibates Shaldybina, Montizetes Kunst, Kunstella Krivolutsky and Liebstadia Oudemans are found from central and southern parts of the country. The first genus studied here, Zachvatkinibates has been represented in Mongolia by single species, while two species ofthe second genus, Montizetes have been recorded previously from Mongolia (Balogh & Mahunka, 1965; Bayartogtokh, 1998; Bayartogtokh & Aoki, 1998). The genus Kunstella is monotypical, and until the present moment it has been known to be distributed only in Mt. Gorny Altai, Southern Siberian region of Russia (Krivolutsky, 1974, 1995). However, the type species, K. foveolata is found in the desert habitats of southern Mongolia, which is the second distributional record for this genus. The last genus, Liebstadia is rather rich in Mongolia in terms of species richness, representing by four species (Bayartogtokh, 2001). The author adds one more species, Liebstadiapannonica, not only to the fauna of Mongolia, but also in Asia, which has been known before only from Europe.

Material and Methods

The present work is based on materials collected mostly by two our graduate students. Part of the material was collected from mountains Zuun Saikhan and Dund Saikhan in Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Nature Reserve area in the South Gobi Province, during the joint research conducting by the Faculty of Biology of the National University of Mongolia and the Faculty of Geography of the Philipps University of Marburg, Germany.
The other part of the study materials was collected from semidesert habitats in Mt. Ikh Gazryn Chuluu in the Middle Gobi Province, during
field trip initiated by the Faculty of Biology, National University of Mongolia. In addition, some materials were collected from Mt. Bogdkhan,
located close to the capital city Ulaanbaatar, and Mt. Khustai in Central Province. The type locality and habitat characterization for each species are given in the respective "material examined" sections. All specimens used for this study are represented as adults. The morphological terminology used in this paper is based on that (with a few modifications) generally developed by F. Grandjean (see TravC and Vachon, 1975 for references).
Body length is measured in lateral view, from the tip of rostrum to the posterior edge of notogaster. Notogastral length is measured in lateral aspect,
from the anterior to the posterior edge. Notogastral width refers to the maximum width in dorsal aspect. All measurements are given in micrometers (pm), and the average measurement values are given in parentheses after the range. The line drawings were made with the aid of a camera lucida attached to a compound microscope "PZO SK- 14".
Descriptions of Species
Zachvatkinibates mongolicus sp. nov. (Fig. 1)
Diagnosis. Medium in size; rostrum rounded; rostral setae long, distinctly barbed; lamellae narrow; lamellar cusps short, narrow; translamella wide; lamellar setae medium long, thin, smooth; interlamellar setae long, but thin, smooth; sensilli with minutely barbed elongate oval or club-shaped
head; tutoria wide, distinctly widened in its posterior part, but narrowed anteriorly, distal end without tooth; notogastral setae medium long;
pteromorphae smooth, bent downwards; posterior notogastral tectum with overlapping lobes. Measurements. Six specimens were measured: body length 360-372 (366) pm; width of notogaster 207-232 (220) pm; length of notogaster 305-323 (313) pm. Integument. Body color yellowish to reddishbrown. Cerotegument thin, roughened by minute granules. Lateral region of podosoma with small, but distinct granules. Prodorsum. Rostrum rounded in dorsal view, without lateral dens. Rostra1 setae (ro) inserted laterally, about 52-56 pm long, distinctly barbed, extending well beyond the tip of rostrum. Lamellae relatively narrow, converging anteriorly; lamellar cusps short, blunt at tip; translamella very wide. Lamellar setae (le) thin, smooth, about 17-20 pm in length, reaching to the tip of rostrum. Interlamellar setae (in) approximately 71-76 pm
long, thin, smooth, extending beyond tip of rostrum, inserted on small apophyses on transverse ridge underneath of anterior tectum of notogaster.
Bothridia (bo) cup-shaped, completely covered by the anterior tectum of notogaster. Sensillii (ss) about 36-4 1 pm in length, minutely barbed, with relatively long elongate oval or club-shaped head and smooth narrow stalk. Tutoria wide, distinctly widened in its middle and posterior parts, but narrowed anteriorly, with distinct cusps distally, extending beyond the level of the insertion of rostral setae; distal end of tutorial cusps without tooth (Figs. 1 A & C). Notogaster. Oval, longer than wide, ratio of length and width 1.4:l. Anterior tectum of notogaster moderate in size, its margin nearly
straight. A pair of heavily sclerotized longitudinal ridges present on the anterior margin of notogaster (between two bothridia). Pteromorphs well
developed, bent downwards, immovable, line of desclerotization absent. Notogastral setae moderately long, thin, smooth. Porose areas nearly
circular to oval; Aa largest, while A, smaller than the former and A, and A, much smaller than others. Notogastral lyrifissures ia, im and ip well visible in dorsal view, while ih and ips visible in lateral or ventral views. Opisthosomal gland opening (gla) located posterolaterad of seta Ip in rather far distance (Fig. 1A). Posterior notogastral tectum with overlapping lobes (Figs. 1B & D). Gnathosoma. Subcapitulum without mental
tectum; hypostomal setae a, h and m medium long, smooth. Anterior margin of rutellum strongly sclerotized, with a few blunt teeth (Fig. ID). Structure and setation of palps and chelicerae typical for genus. Epimeral region. Surface of epimeral region smooth; apodemes apo.2, apo.sj and apo.3 well developed, aligned obliquely, almost parallel to each other. Apodeme apo. 3 much shorter than two formers. Epimeral setae medium long, smooth, all setae approximately equal in length. Circumpedal carina well developed, reaching to lateral margin of ventral plate. Discidium triangular, distinctly projected distally (Fig. 1 D). Ano-genital region. Surface of anal and genital regions smooth, anal aperture being larger than genital one. Genital setae medium long, approximately same in length; setae g,, g, and g, inserted along anterior margin of genital plates, g, inserted close to posterior margins. Distance between bases of aggenital setae (ag) nearly equal


Although the author studied in this work four species belonging to different genera, I would like to briefly discuss here about taxonomy of those
genera. The first genus studied here, Zachvatkinibates was erected by Shaldybina (1973), with the type species Z. nemoralis Shaldybina from Russia. Zachvatkinibates is a small genus, and until the recent time it was known only from Central Asia and Russian Far East, representing by three known species described by above author (Z. nemoralis Shaldybina, Z. rnaritirnus Shaldybina and Z. volgini Shaldybina). Later, Behan-Pelletier (1988) recorded and redescribed Z. maritimus from North America, and at the same time she described another species, Z. tetrasklerosis. More recently, Bayartogtokh &Aoki (1 998) and Behan-Pelletier (200 1) described two more species, Z. Iatilamellatus and Z. epiphytos from Mongolia and North America, respectively. 'Thus, the genus is consisting now of seven species including a new species described here. The following key will distinguish the adults of known species of Zachvatkinibates Shaldybina.
Key to the known species of the genus Zachvatkinibates
1 . Pteromorphs movable, with line of desclrotization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
- Pteromorphs immovable, without line of desclrotization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 5
2. Lamellae short, wide; translamella very wide, short, its width nearly equal or greater than length. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 3
- Lamellar long; translamella narrow, relatively long, its width less than length . . . . . . . 4
3. Sensilli elongate oval, densely barbed, long, reaching to the level of translamella; anterior tectum of notogaster straight in median part . . . . . .2 . latilamellatus Bayartogtokh & Aoki, 1998
- Sensilli nearly capitate or club-shaped, finely barbed or smooth, not reaching to the level of translamella; anterior tectum of notogaster narrowed and almost triangular in median part . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Z. volgini Shaldybina, 1973
4. Rostrum smoothly rounded; sensilli elongate oval, finely barbed, long, reaching to the level of translamella; anterior tectum of notogaster large, widely rounded . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Z. nemoralis Shaldybina, 1973
- Rostrum with dentations on anterior and anterolateral margins; sensilli clup-shaped, heavily barbed, short, not reaching to the level
of translamella; anterior tectum of notogaster small, nearly triangular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Z. maritimus Shaldybina, 1973
5. Lamellae not strongly converging anteriorly, lamellar cusps widely spaced from each other, translamella longer than width; lamellar and
interlamellar setae thick, barbed . . . . . . . . . . . 6
- Lamellae strongly converging anteriorly, lamellar cusps situated very close to each other, translamella wider than length; lamellar and
interlamellar setae thin, smooth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Z. mongolicus sp. nov.
6. Notogaster weakly foveate; interlamellar area with distinct longitudinal striae; tuturia triangular distally, translamella very narrow and
long. . . . . . Z . epiphytos Bellan-Pelletier, 2001
- Notogaster without foveae; interlamellar area without longitudinal striae; tuturia blunt distally, translamella relatively wide and short . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . Z. tetrasklerosis Behan-Pelletier, 1988
Concerning the second genus studied here, Kunst (1971) proposed Montizetes as a subgenus


Faculty of Biology, National University of Mongolia


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