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Iheringia. Série Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0073-4721On-line version ISSN 1678-4766

Iheringia, Sér. Zool. vol.108  Porto Alegre  2018  Epub June 11, 2018 


A new species of velvet mite from meridional South America of the genus Clavismaris (Acari, Erythraeoidea, Smarididae, Hirstiosomatinae)

Descrição de uma espécie nova de ácaro aveludado do gênero Clavismaris da América do Sul meridional (Acari, Erythraeoidea, Smarididae, Hirstiosomatinae)

1 Departamento de Fitossanidade, Faculdade de Agronomia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Av. Bento Gonçalves, 7712, 91540-000, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. (

2 Museu de Ciências Naturais, Fundação Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul. Rua Dr. Salvador França, 1427, 90690-000, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. (


A new species of Clavismaris Southcott, 1963 is described from the southern limit of distribution of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest at Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil. The specimens were collected by pyrethroid tree canopy fogging in preserved mountain slopes forests areas around 120 m of altitude.

KEYWORDS Acarology; Taxonomy; Neotropical; new species; Brazil


É descrita uma espécie nova de Clavismaris Southcott, 1963 do limite sul de distribuição da Mata Atlântica brasileira no estado do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Os espécimes foram coletados com nebulização de copas de árvores por piretróide em florestas preservadas de encosta de montanha numa altitude de cerca de 120 m.

PALAVRAS-CHAVE Acarologia; Taxonomia; Neotropical; espécie nova; Brasil

Smaridid mites are moderately large and worldwide distributed predator mites found mainly in litter and grassland habitats being the larva of some species parasites of insects (Krantz & Walter, 2009).

According to Beron (2008) and Makol & Wohltmann (2012), there is only one endemic smaridid species registered for South America, actually Smaris nicoleti (Gervais, 1849) from Chile. Although dubious (see Beron, 2008:55), there is another record of a Smarididae to South America, actually the european species Hirstiosoma ampulligera (Berlese, 1887). The species is registered for several South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Chile). However, the above cited distribution of the species for South America is not listed or commented by Wohltmann (2010) or Makol & Wohltmann (2012).

Clavismaris was proposed by Southcott (1963) to include C. conifera Southcott, 1963 and C. cybaea Southcott, 1963, described respectively from Mexico and USA. The same author above considered Clavismaris close to the New World Trichosmaris Southcott, 1963 and to the Australian Sphaerotarsus Womersley, 1936, differing from the first by the clavate shape of the posterior cristal sensilla and from the second by the less enlarged tarsus IV of males.

The material included in this paper was collected by canopy fogging at the southern limit of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and represents the second Smaridid and for now the first known species of Clavimaris from South America.

Based on morphological and morfometrical data we conclude that the examined specimens belong to an undescribed species of Clavismaris and are herein presenting the description of this new species.


Examined material is deposited at the Acarological collection of the Museu de Ciências Naturais da Fundação Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul (MCN). The specimens were collected on tree canopies using pyrethroid fogging, preserved in ethanol 80% and posteriorly mounted in slides with Hoyer’s medium according to Jeppson et al. (1975).

Descriptions follow Southcott (1963) with modifications and Southcott (1961) for abbreviations used in text. Images were taken at optical microscope and image layers were fused using Helicon Focus software (Kozub et al., 2012). All measurements are in micrometers (μm).


Clavismaris maquine sp. nov.

(Figs 1 - 15)

Type material. Holotype ♀ from Atlantic forest area at FEPAGRO Maquiné, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil (29°39’45.17”S, 50°13’28.05”W), 10-12.I.2006, Equipe Fogging MCN leg., deposited at MCN ARA 1912. Paratype. ♂ same locality and collector of holotype, 24-26.IV.2006 (MCN ARA 1913).

Additional examined material. ♂ (MCN ARA 1914), ♀ (MCN ARA 1915), ♀ (MCN ARA 1916), ♀ (MCN ARA 1919), ♀(MCN ARA 1920), all same date holotype; ♀, 18-20.VII.2006 (MCN ARA 1917); ♀ (MCN ARA 1918), ♀ (MCN ARA 1921), both 10-12.X.2006; all same locality and collectors as holotype.

Etymology. The specific name is taken from the type-locality, Maquiné, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Diagnosis. Clavismaris maquine sp. nov. differs from C. cybaea by the number of nasu scobalae, being 11-12 in males, 14-18 in females and eight in the last species. On the other hand, the number of nasu scobalae in the new species is similar to the number present at C. conifera (17); however the new species differs from the last one in the number of dorsal spicules on the nasu scobalae, being around 20 in C. maquine sp. nov. (Fig. 14) and 6-8 in C. conifera (Southcott, 1963:235). Based on females data, the combined measures of C. maquine sp. nov. ISD (340-460 μm) and the ratio of the tibia/genu IV (1.15-1.22) are confirmatory characters for the species, being respectively 381 μm and 0.85 in C. conifera (only the holotype available) and 267 μm and 1.00-1.02 in C. cybaea (although only two males measure data available) sensuSouthcott (1963).

Figures 1-5  Clavismaris maquine sp. nov., holotype ♀ (MCN ARA 1912): 1, body, dorsal; 2, gnathosoma and propodossoma, dorsal; 3, tarsi, legs I, lateral; 4, tarsus, leg IV, lateral; 5, genital region, dorsal. Scale bars: Fig. 1, 500 μm; Figs 2, 3, 200 μm; Figs 4, 5, 100 μm. 

Figures 6-10  Clavismaris maquine sp. nov. Female holotype ♀ (MCN ARA 1912): 6, eye region and surrounding scobalae. Paratype ♂ (MCN ARA 1913): 7, idiosoma, ventral view; 8-10, genital sclerite in ventral view, respectively from distal plan to proximal plan of view (e, eye; mgs, male genital sclerite; psa, posterior sensillary area). Scale bars: Fig. 6, 50 μm; Fig. 7, 500 μm; Figs 8-10, 200 μm. 

Figures 11-15  Clavismaris maquine sp. nov. Figs 11, 14, 15, female ♀ (MCN ARA 1912); Figs 12, 13, ♀ (MCN ARA 1915): 11, dorsal scutum (only base of sensillary setae indicated); 12, genital opening; 13, anal opening; 14, anterior sensillary area; 15, posterior sensilary area (asa, anterior sensillary area; as, anterior sensilla; e, eye; psa, posterior sensillary area; ps, posterior sensilla). Scale bars: Figs 11, 12, 14, 15, 100 μm; Fig. 13, 50μm. 

Description. Female holotype (MCN ARA 1912). Color in life unknown. Specimen of normal smaridid shape (Fig. 1) also with a normal nasus (Figs 1, 2). Idiosoma 1758 μm long, 928 μm wide.

Gnathosoma normal, with normal armilla. Palpi with dorsal needle-like setae. Mouth cone poorly ciliated; setae tapering, pointed.

Crista linear normal (Figs 11, 14, 15). Anterior sensillary area of crista with two ciliated clavate sensillae (Figs 11, 14), nasus with 17 strongly spiculated scobalae, about 2-3 times long as wide, 21-36 μm long. Posterior sensillary area with two ciliated clavate sensillae (Figs 11, 15). Crista extends 48 μm behind centre of PSens. The standard data are: ASens 19, PSens 52, SBa 16, SBp 17, ISD 430, DS 19-26.

Eyes one on each side, cornea 24 μm across, but with surrounding part included the eye is 36 μm across (Fig. 6). Line joining centres of eyes is 20 μm anterior to the midpoint of ISD (OAS= 240 μm, OPS = 260 μm).

Dorsal idiosomal scobalae lightly chitinized, variable shaped and typically smaridid. Nasus with 17 scobalaee forming an oblong or oval band with five tectal projecting columns of spicules, two being along the tectal borders, and three placed in a paramedian situation along the setae comprising together abouth 16-20 spicules. The appearance of the dorsal scobalae strongly prismatic depending of view (Fig. 6).

Ventral surface normal, the central ventralae smaller, bushy with longer ciliations. External genital plates covered with 20-30 needle like setae (Fig. 12). Internal genitalia region with characteristic shape showing an anterior pair of sclerotized plates, a median narrow sclerotized structure and a posterior rounded sclerotized area bearing two oblique inserted narrow and heavier sclerotized processes (Fig. 5). External genitalia 202 μm long. Anus oval, 80 μm long, 47 μm wide. Anal valves covered with around ten pairs of heavy ciliated ventralae, usually something smaller as remaining surrounding ventralae (Fig. 13).

Legs normal. Legs lengths (inclusive trochanter-tips of tarsal claws): I 1750 μm, II 980 μm, III 1070 μm, IV 1680 μm. Tarsus I 250 μm long, 80 μm wide; tibia I 390 μm long; genu I 390 μm long; tarsus IV 190 μm long, 60 μm wide; tibia IV 410 μm long; genu IV 340 μm long. Following ratios derived: taI/tiI 0.64; tiI/geI 1.00; taIV/tiIV 0.46; tiIV/geIV 1.21. Tarsus IV not strongly enlarged (Figs 1, 4). Setae of legs typically smaridid, scobale almost as strong as ventralae, well covered with spicules, setae on distal parts of segments tending to be more elongated and flattened (Figs 3, 4). Claws I-IV well covered with short pilosity in the basal three quarters (Fig. 4).

Females variations (n=8). Number of nasus scobalae 14-18; ISD 340-460 μm; Tibia 340-440 μm and genu 270-360 μm IV; ratio ti/ge IV 1.15-1.22.

Male. Paratype (MCN ARA 1913; Fig. 7). As female except noted. Idiosoma 1090 μm long, 600 μm wide.

Nasus with 11 strongly spiculated scobalae, crista extends 36 μm behind centre of PSens. The standard data are: ASens 19 μm, PSens 38 μm, SBa 7 μm, SBp 12 μm, ISD 345, DS 19-26.

Eyes one on each side, cornea 19 μm across, but with surrounding part included the eye is 26 μm across. Line joining centres of eyes is 10 μm anterior to the midpoint of ISD (OAS= 150 μm, OPS = 200 μm).

Internal genitalia clearly of male type; presenting a central column of sinuose sides and a central inverted “V” shaped sclerotized structure (Figs 7-10); in ventral portion is also possible to observe a paired oval sac-like structure (Fig. 10). External genitalia 200 μm long. Anus oval, 60 μm long, 40 μm wide.

Legs lengths (inclusive trochanter-tips of tarsal claws): I 1600 μm, II 910 μm, III 1000 μm, IV 1460 μm. Tarsus I 200 μm long, 60 μm wide; tibia I 370 μm long; genu I 340 μm long; tarsus IV 160 μm long, 40 μm wide; tibia IV 350 μm long, genu IV 290 μm long. Following ratios derived: taI/tiI 0.54; tiI/geI 1.09; taIV/tiIV 0.46; tiIV/geIV 1,21.

Males variations (n=2). Number of nasus scobalae 11-12; ISD 345-400; TibiaIV 350-380 and genu IV 290-330; ratio ti/ge IV 1.15-1.23.

Remarks. The number of nasus scobalae in males (11-12) of C. maquine sp. nov. is lower as in females (14-18). The number of nasus scobalae was only provided for the female holotype of C. conifera (17) and the male holotype of C. cybea (8) (Southcott, 1963). However in the original description of the last species an additional male paratype and female were described, this character was not presented for any of them by the author. In this way, it could be expected that C. cybaea females would have large numbers of nasus scobalae, the opposite is expected regarding unknown males of C. conifer sp. nov..

Natural history. Species was collected at tree canopies in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

Distribution. Known only for the type-locality, Maquiné, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.


To the MCN colleagues Aline Barcellos, Eduardo Borsato, Ingrid Heydrich and Luciano Moura for the friendship, support and tireless field work during the fogging project (2005-2006). To Fundação Estadual de Pesquisa Agropecuária (FEPAGRO) for allowing the use of the area and facilities at Maquiné, RS. This work was supported by CNPq grant “Edital Universal” process #474292/2004-5.


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Received: July 14, 2017; Accepted: March 23, 2018

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