Laelapidae - Gaeolaelaps sp.
Group Guild Status
Eutroglophile Predator Uncommon?
Predatory laelapid mites present in the cave during the initial study were attributed to Gaeolaelaps sp. At that time the taxonomy of this group of laelapid mites was still in flux, and Gaeolaelaps and Stratiolaelaps may not have been considered discrete taxa by some acarologists. We currently have three species of laelapid mites present in the cave, including Gaeolaelaps sp. and the two Stratiolaelaps species. We sampled the single specimen of Gaeolaelaps sp. from an invertebrate station in the Millipede Tomb Room on May 31, 2012. Specimens of “Gaeolaelaps” from the initial study (See Fig. 7 in Welbourn 1999) were provided to BMOC by Cal Welbourn for review and were determined to be what is now considered Stratiolaelaps scimitus (see species account for that species). Like other laelapids, Gaeolaelaps are predatory species.
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