The study of mites and ticks in Ukraine (historical and bibliographic excursion)
Ukrainian Entomological Journal
In the Ukrainian Entomological society, there is a department that does not study insects. Its members are interested in the insects' distant relatives, the subphylum Chelicerata, which though less diverse than insects, play a significant role in the economies of nature and humankind. A special place belongs to mites, which are a subject of acarological research. In fact, the economical factors caused this direction of research to develop into a full-fledged science, kindred to parasitology,
... to parasitology, entomology, epidemiology and other sciences. Contemporary acarology has its own objects and methods of research. It started developing at the territory of today Ukraine as early as in XIX century by efforts of scientists of neighbor countries. At the turn of the XX century, first publications appeared of bloodsucking ticks parasitizing cattle and carrying pathogens, and of plant pests. In 1918–1919, when All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (AUAS) was established, the faunal studies and applied research progressed too. In 1930, the Institute of zoology and biology of AUAS was established and consolidated the efforts of Ukrainian specialists aimed at studying ixodid ticks, which remained in the focus of parasitological studies in 1942–1943, when the Institute was in evacuation in Bashkiria. There, the employees of the Institute studied the transmission of encephalomyelitis of horses by ticks. After the return to Kyiv the Institute continued these studies, resulting in a volume of the edition "Fauna of Ukraine", on ixodid ticks. In 1968, the first in Ukraine laboratory of acarology was established in the Institute, which in ten years has become a department of acarology, and a center of acarological research. In 1970, the specialists of that laboratory together with representatives of other specialized institutions (from several universities, and from Nikitsky Botanical Garden, Yalta and Odesa cities, and Zakarpattia) organized the Second All-Union Acarological Conference. The Conference shaped the further development of acarological studies, mostly focusing on the applied research of economically important taxa. The acarologists were successful in expeditions, taking samples for collections, the laboratory and industrial cultures of economically important species. Especially significant results were achieved using complex methods. Thus, in Kyiv the research touched upon the spider mites and their acarophagous enemies, utilized in a biological method of pest control, and also on storage mite pests, on predator and parasitic cheyletids, on oribatids, and free-living and parasitic gamasid mites and ixodid ticks, on the bee parasites of the genus Varroa, etc. In the Nikitsky Botanical Garden, complex research was conducted on the plant pest mites. Interesting studies were done in the universities and scientific institutions of Odesa, Lviv, Uzhorod, Donetsk, etc. All of that resulted in the increase of knowledge (published in monographs, papers and designs), and in the growing expertise of the specialists (more than 50 Candidates and Doctors of Science). Results of these works were highly appreciated by the community and given the recognition of the State Award.