Morphometric characteristics of Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman, 2000 female (Acari, Mesostigmata: Varroidae)

  • V. A. Yevstafieva Poltava State Agrarian Academy, Poltava
  • O. S. Nasarenko Poltava State Agrarian Academy, Poltava
Keywords: varroosis, honey bees, mites, morphology, metric characteristics


Varroosis is a widespread acarine invasion, which today remains a problem of beekeepers all over the world, including Ukraine. The specific causative agent of Apis mellifera L. varroasis of honey bee, which was previously parasitized Chinese waxy bee Apis seeran F., is a gamasid mite Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman, 2000. The female mites affect bee families throughout the year, feeding on hemolymph of bees, injuring their chitinous covering, leading to weakness, loss of productivity, and sometimes resulting in the extinction of whole bee-family. During 2017, 256 female Varroa destructor mites were selected and analyzed, which were collected from working bees of private honey farms of Poltavsky region of Ukraine. Total specimens were prepared using the Fora-Berleze liquid. The results of the research revealed that the index of abundance of female Varroa destructor during the year in the territory of the studied region varies from 0.20 to 0.59 samples. The number of female mites of the abovementioned species found on a single working bee varies from 1 to 8 specimens. The peculiarities of morphological structure of Varroa destructor parasite females of honey bee in the climatic conditions of Poltavsky region are described. Specific morphological characteristics of females include the shape of the body, the presence and location of specific shields, especially from the ventral side (sternal, genito-ventral, lateral, anal, pleural, exopodal) and bristles that cover them. Gnathosoma consists of three-branched helicers, which have the property of protruding and morphologically ending with a finger helicer, as well as mobile six-membered pedipalp. The mite teeth are closely adjacent to each other and end with an ambulacrum, the terminal part of which has are two unguiculi. The metric parameters of the body of female mites were determined taking into account their morphological structure. The length and width of the body were 1.09 ± 0.01 and 1.63 ± 0.02 mm, respectively. Different metric signs of Varroa destructor females include the size of shields from the ventral side, as well as ambulacrums for each pair of mites’ tarsus. It is expedient in further researches to determine the differential morphometric features in the male imago and Varroa destructor females derived from honey bees in Ukraine conditions.


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Yevstafieva, V., & Nasarenko, O. (2018). Morphometric characteristics of Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman, 2000 female (Acari, Mesostigmata: Varroidae). Theoretical and Applied Veterinary Medicine, 6(1), 40-45. Retrieved from