Predatory behaviour of pseudoscorpions (Ellingsenius indicus) associated with Himalayan Apis cerana
Ratna Thapa, Siriwat Wongsiri, Myeong Lyeol Lee and Yong-Soo Choi
We investigated the relationship between pseudoscorpions in 13 colonies of Apis cerana and their predatory behaviour toward varroa mites, wax moth larvae, dead honey bee larvae and psocids in the laboratory. Our survey showed that the high numbers of pseudoscorpions in strong colonies suggest the availability of bee larvae as food. The presence of adult and nymph pseudoscorpions in comb cells suggests that pseudoscorpions use abandoned cells for breeding. In the laboratory, pseudoscorpions did not prey on live varroa mites and lesser wax moth larvae but on juicy dead honey bee larvae and live psocids. The presence of pseudoscorpions below the inner cover of hives suggests that pseudoscorpions feed on dead bees that were squeezed between the inner and outer covers. We conclude that pseudoscorpions associated with A. cerana do not act as a bio-control of varroa mites and wax moth larvae; instead, they prey on dead honey bees, bee larvae and psocids.