Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Varroa Mite, Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Acari: Varroidae)

  • Jamie Ellis
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_3938

The varroa mite, Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman, is the world’s most devastating pest of western honey bees (Apis mellifera, Hymenoptera: Apidae). Although the varroa complex includes multiple species, V. destructor is the species responsible for the vast majority of the damage attributed to mites from this genus. Until 2000, it was believed that Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans was the mite responsible for widespread honey bee colony losses. However, taxonomic work published in 2000 indicated that a previously unidentified species of varroa (V. destructor) was responsible for the damage; V. jacobsoni was shown to be only moderately harmful to western honey bees. This discussion is limited to Varroa destructor.

Varroa mites are ectoparasites that feed on the hemolymph of immature and adult honey bees. Apis mellifera is not the mite’s natural host. In fact, the mite is native to Asia where it parasitizes another cavity-dwelling honey bee, Apis cerana (the eastern or Asian honey bee). Ap...

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  1. Anderson DL, Trueman JWH (2000) Varroa jacobsoni (Acari: Varroidae) is more than one species. Exp Appl Acarol 24:165–189CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Webster TC, Delaplane KS (eds) (2001) Mites of the honey bee. Dadant and Sons, Inc., Hamilton, IL, 280 ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jamie Ellis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA