Balaustium murorum, photographed by Ozuma.

Belongs within: Erythraeoidea.

The Balaustiinae are a group of erythraeid mites characterised by the presence of special sensory pits, called urnulae, on the main body. Members of the Australasian genera Microsmaris and Wartookia have two pairs of urnulae, one pair posterolateral to the eyes and the other more posteriorly on the opisthosoma; the Holarctic genera Balaustium and Neobalaustium possess only the anterior pair. Larvae of the Holarctic genus Balaustium have been recorded feeding from pollen grains by sucking their contents, in contrast to the parasitic habits of other erythraeid larvae (Southcott 1961).

Characters (from Southcott 1961): Adult and nymph with one eye on each side, placed well behind middle of crista, or, if the crista is obsolete or absent, behind the midpoint between the anterior and posterior dorsal idiosomal sensillae. Dorsum of idiosoma with specialized tubular sensory pits, "urnulae", either 2 or 4 in number; the anterior pair placed posterior to the eyes; the posterior pair, when present, placed posterolaterally and somewhat dorsally upon the idiosoma. Dorsal idiosomal setae simplified, usually ciliated. Pedal tibiae without distal tubercles. Larva with one eye on each side. Crista metopica present upon dorsum of idiosoma, and placed upon a narrow longitudinal shield, or without dorsal shield. Mouth-parts slender, and containing a distinct mass of the well-developed pharyngeal musculature.

<==Balaustiinae [Balaustiidae] S61
    |  i. s.: ‘Rhyncholophus’ roseus Banks 1894 [=Grognieria rosea] S61
    |         Mypongia Southcott 1961 S61
    |           `--*M. brevipes Southcott 1961 S61
    |         Fallopia Oudemans 1905 (n. d.) S61
    |           `--*F. porifera (Kramer 1898) (n. d.) [=Rhyncholophus poriferus] S61
    |         Pollux Southcott 1961 S61
    |           |--*P. workandae Southcott 1961 S61
    |           `--P. cristatus (Womersley 1934) (see below for synonymy) S61
    |--+--Wartookia Southcott 1961 G91
    |  |    `--*W. rebeccae Southcott 1961 S61
    |  `--Microsmaris Hirst 1926 G91
    |       |--*M. mirandus Hirst 1926 S61
    |       `--M. joannae Hirst 1928 [=M. goannae] S61
    `--+--Microsmarialla Khot 1963 G91
       `--+--Neobalaustium Willman 1951 G91
          |    `--*N. caspersi Willmann 1951 S61
          `--Balaustium von Heyden 1826 G91 [=Belaustium (l. c.) S61; incl. Monotrombidium Krausse 1924 S61]
               |--*B. murorum (Hermann 1804) [=Trombidium murorum] S61
               |--B. aequalipes Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. anomalus Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. antarcticum (Trägårdh 1907) [=Erythraeus antarcticus] S61
               |--B. aonidiphagus (Ebeling 1934) [=Erythraeus aonidiphagus, B. aonidaphagus (l. c.)] S61
               |--B. araneipes Cooreman 1956 (see below for synonymy) S61
               |--B. araneoides (Berlese 1910) [=Achorolophus araneoides] S61
               |--B. barloventensis Haitlinger 2004 F05
               |--B. bisetis Evans 1953 S61
               |--B. brevipalpe Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. bulgariense Oudemans 1926 [=Belaustium (l. c.) bulgariense] S61
               |--B. crassitarsum Schweizer 1951 SB63 [=Abrolophus crassitarsus S61]
               |--B. cristatum Meyer & Ryke 1959 G91
               |--B. curtipapillum Schweizer 1951 SB63
               |--B. densipapillum Schweizer 1951 SB63
               |--B. engadinense Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. evansi Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. florale Grandjean 1947 S61
               |--B. graminum Meyer & Ryke 1959 G91
               |--B. handschini Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. illustre (Koch 1854) [=Rhyncholophus illustris] S61
               |--B. jurassicum Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. laevicristatum Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. longipapillum Schweizer 1951 SB63
               |--B. longipes Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. longum Schweizer 1951 SB63 [=Abrolophus longus S61]
               |--B. madeirense Willmann 1939 S61
               |--B. miniatum (Hermann 1804) [=Trombidium miniatum] SB63
               |--B. malpaisesensis Haitlinger 2004 F05
               |--B. neomurorum Schweizer 1951 S61
               |--B. obtusum Trägårdh 1931 S61
               |--B. perifi Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. perlongum Schweizer 1951 SB63 [=Abrolophus perlongus S61]
               |--B. putmani WWO01
               |--B. quadrisetum Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. quinquesetum Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. quisquilarium (Hermann 1804) [=Trombidium quisquiliarum] SB63
               |--B. raripapillum Schweizer 1951 SB63
               |--B. rhopalicum (Koch 1837) [=Rhyncholophus rhopalicus] SB63
               |--B. sabulosum (Halbert 1915) [=Rhyncholophus sabulosus] SB63
               |--B. saccatum (Koch 1854) [=Trombidium saccatum] S61
               |--B. southcotti Feider & Chioreanu 1977 G91
               |--B. submurorum Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. subquisquilarum Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. trisetum Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
               |--B. unidentatus (Trägårdh 1904) [=Erythraeus unidentatus, Rhyncholophus unidentatus] SB63
               `--B. unisetum Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63

Nomen nudum: Balaustium araneoides Willmann 1951 nec Achorolophus araneoides Berlese 1910 nec Rhyncholophus araneoides Halbert 1920 S61

Balaustium araneipes Cooreman 1956 [incl. Rhyncholophus araneoides Halbert 1920 non Achorolophus araneoides Berlese 1910] S61

*Type species of generic name indicated


[F05] Fernández, J. 2005. Noticia de nuevos táxones para la ciencia en el ámbito Íbero-Balear y Macaronésico. Nuevos táxones animales descritos en la península Ibérica y Macaronesia desde 1994 (IX). Graellsia 61 (2): 261-282.

[G91] Gabryś, G. 1991. Intergeneric relationships within Erythraeidae (Acari, Actinedida). In: Dusbábek, F. & V. Bukva (eds) Modern Acarology: Proceedings of the VIII International Congress of Acarology, held in České Budĕjovice, Czechoslovakia, 6–11 August 1990 vol. 2 pp. 207-212. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[SB63] Schweizer, J. & C. Bader. 1963. Die Landmilben der Schweiz (Mittelland, Jura und Alpen): Trombidiformes Reuter, mit 217 Arten und Unterarten und 193 Originalzeichnungen. Denkschriften der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft [Mémoires de la Société Helvétique des Sciences Naturelles] 84 (2): i-vi, 209-378.

[S61] Southcott, R. V. 1961. Studies on the systematics and biology of the Erythraeoidea (Acarina), with a critical revision of the genera and subfamilies. Australian Journal of Zoology 9: 367-610.

[WWO01] Wohltmann, A., H. Witte & R. Olomski. 2001. Organismal patterns causing high potential for adaptive radiation in Parasitengonae (Acari: Prostigmata). In Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress (R. B. Halliday, D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff, eds) pp. 83-99. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

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