Amerus (Amerus) polonicus, photographed by Franziska Meyer.

Belongs within: Circumdehiscentiae.

The Ameridae are a family of oribatid mites that have the prodorsum and notogaster partially flattened and often fused. The Madagascan species Pteramerus draco has the fourth trochanters also flattened, with large wing-like crests dorsally and ventrally. In the Southern Hemisphere genus Hymenobelba the epimeral setae are dilated and blade-shaped, while the Chilean Ctenamerus flagellatus has most ventral setae branched. These latter two genera also differ from the remaining genera in lacking pedotecta II (Balogh & Balogh 1992).

Feeding habits of Ameridae are largely unknown, though stable isotope analysis of the Mediterranean species Amerus troisi suggests a diet of animal matter, possibly preying on nematodes (Norton & Behan-Pelletier 2009).

Characters (from Norton & Behan-Pelletier 2009): Length 600-1050 μm. Gnathosoma normal, chelicerae with dentate chelae and two setae. Rostrum usually with pair of incisions. Prodorsum without true lamellae. Axillary saccule present at base of palp. Posterior of prodorsum and anterior of notogaster strongly flattened and usually fused. Notogaster without scalps. Longer notogastral setae often showing two distinct patterns: lm, lp and h3 arch towards midline, h1 and h2 arch posteriorly. Femora with porose areas, tibiae and tarsi without porose areas.

<==Ameridae BB92
    |--Gymnodampia Jacot 1937 NB-P09, S04
    |--Ctenamerus Balogh & Balogh 1992 S04
    |    `--*C. flagellatus (Covarrubias 1967) [=Hymenobelba flagellata] S04
    |--Haplamerus Balogh & Balogh 1992 S04
    |    `--*H. annulus (Balogh & Mahunka 1966) [=Hymenobelba annulus] S04
    |--Pteramerus Balogh 1964 S04
    |    `--*P. draco Balogh 1964 S04
    |--Andesamerus Hammer 1962 S04
    |    |--*A. peculiaris Hammer 1962 S04
    |    `--A. novaezealandiae Balogh & Balogh 1986 S04
    |--Caenosamerus Higgins & Woolley 1969 S04
    |    |--*C. litosus Higgins & Woolley 1969 S04
    |    |--C. shirakamiensis Fujikawa 2002 S04
    |    `--C. spatiosus Aoki 1977 S04
    |         |--C. s. spatiosus S04
    |         `--C. s. maoershanensis Wen 1992 S04
    |--Amerus Berlese 1896 S04
    |    |--A. (Amerus) S04
    |    |    |--*A. (A.) troisi (Berlese 1883) [=Belba troisi] S04
    |    |    `--A. (A.) polonicus Kulczynski 1902 S04
    |    `--A. (Neamerus Willmann 1939) S04
    |         |--A. (*N.) lundbladi Willmann 1939 S04
    |         `--A. (N.) laticephalus Berlese 1915 NB-P09, S04
    `--Hymenobelba Balogh 1962 S04
         |--*H. ypsilon Balogh 1962 S04
         |--H. coarctata Balogh & Mahunka 1966 S04
         |--H. diversisetosa Luxton 1988 S04
         |--H. domahidyi Balogh & Balogh 1983 S04
         |--H. flexisetosa Luxton 1988 S04
         `--H. ramulosa Covarrubias 1967 S04

*Type species of generic name indicated


Balogh, J., & P. Balogh. 1992. The Oribatid Mites Genera of the World vol. 1. Hungarian Natural History Museum: Budapest.

[NB-P09] Norton, R. A., & V. M. Behan-Pelletier. 2009. Suborder Oribatida. In: Krantz, G. W., & D. E. Walter (eds) A Manual of Acarology 3rd ed. pp. 430–564. Texas Tech University Press.

[S04] Subías, L. S. 2004. Listado sistemático, sinonímico y biogeográfico de los ácaros oribátidos (Acariformes, Oribatida) del mundo (1758–2002). Graellsia 60 (número extraordinario): 3–305.

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