Labidostomma denticulata, copyright Walter Pfiegler.

Belongs within: Acariformes.
Contains: Eupodoidea, Eriophyoidea, Tydeoidea, Halacaridae, Trombidiae, Erythraeoidea, Hydrachnidia, Bdelloidea, Anystina, Eleutherengonides.

The Prostigmata are a diverse group of mites exhibiting a wide range of morphologies. The name of the group refers to the tracheal system which, if present, opens at the base of the chelicerae or on the anterior prodorsum (Lindquist et al. 2009). Many members of the group are more or less soft-bodied, but the Labidostommatidae are a group of heavily armoured predatory mites with an undivided dorsal shield and a complete ventral armature (Walter et al. 2009). In many members of the subgroups Anystina, Parasitengonina and Eleutherengonides, but not in the remaining subgroups, a terminal seta on the palptibia has become large and claw-like, and together with the reduced, laterally displaced tarsus forms a distinct arrangement referred to as the 'thumb-claw process' (Walter et al. 2009).

Walter et al. (2009) divided the Prostigmata between four major groups, the Labidostommatidae, Eupodides, Anystides and Eleutherengonides. Phylogenetic analysis supports the Labidostommatidae as the sister lineage of the remaining Prostigmata (Dabert et al. 2016). As well as their heavy armature, labidostommatids differ from other prostigmatans in having six pairs of prodorsal setae; the remaining Prostigmata all possess fewer. Other distinctive (though not unique) features of the Labidostommatidae include the presence of an unpaired median ocellus, and two pairs of prodorsal trichobothria. They are predators of Collembola and other small arthropods, and are found in soil or associated habitats (Walter et al. 2009).

The Eupodides were reocgnised by Walter et al. (2009) as a diverse group of mites largely united by plesiomorphic characters relative to other Prostigmata, including the Eupodoidea, Eriophyoidea, Tydeoidea, Halacaroidea and Bdelloidea. Most are soft-bodied forms with striated integument, weak subcutaneous sclerites, and reduced opisthosomatic chaetotaxy. Members of the Halacaroidea are aquatic; the remaining lineages are terrestrial. Halacaroidea also lack prodorsal trichobothria (present in other Eupodides) and possess large, often serrate, lateral claws on the leg tarsi that function as holdfasts for clinging to the substrate. Most species are included in the family Halacaridae, characterised by an idiosomal dorsum bearing one to four platelets and five to ten pairs of setae; the Australian genus Peza, in which the idiosomal dorsum has twelve to sixteen poorly defined platelets and sixteen to twenty pairs of setae, is placed in its own family. Phylogenetic analyses of the Prostigmata (e.g. Dabert et al. 2016) have not supported monophyly of the Eupodides.

The Anystides of Walter et al. (2009) included two subgroups, the Anystina and Parasitengonina. Again, Dabert et al. (2016) did not recover monophyly of this grouping but instead placed Anystina and Parasitengonina as distinct lineages. The Parasitengonina are a diverse group of mostly predatory mites with parasitic larvae, in which the larval instar is highly divergent in morphology from later instars, and the protonymphal and tritonymphal instars have become inactive calyptostases. Many authors have proposed dividing the Parasitengonina between primarily terrestrial (Trombidia) and aquatic (Hydrachnidia) lineages but Dabert et al. (2016) identified the former as paraphyletic to the latter. Terrestrial Parasitengonina are hairy and often relatively large, and often bright red in coloration. In members of the Erythraeoidea and Calyptostoma, the movable digit of the chelicera is styletiform and retractable. Calyptostoma species retain urstigmata between coxal plates I and II, lost in Erythraeoidea; they also bear fifteen or more setae on each of the coxal plates (Walter et al. 2009).

See also: The Prostigmata: endless forms.

Characters (from Lindquist et al. 2009): Tracheal system usually present with one pair of stigmata opening between bases of chelicerae or on anterior prodorsum (sometimes absent), sometimes associated with peritremes dorsally on cheliceral bases or on anterior margin of prodorsum; prodorsum usually with four or fewer pairs of setae or hypertrichous, sometimes including one or two pairs of bothridial sensilla; subcapitulum without rutella; chelicerae rarely chelate, usually with fixed digit sheathlike or completely regressed, movable digit usually a hook, knife, needle or stylet-like structure; cheliceral bases sometimes fused medially; palpi simple or modified into a thumb-claw process, sometimes reduced; coxae of legs integrated with venter of podosoma, coxal fields contiguous or II-III separated; ambulacra of at least legs II and III usually with two lateral claws and with or rarely without a median empodium that may be padlike or rayed and often armed with tenent hairs, or occasionally claw- or suckerlike; opisthosoma lacking paired lateral glands; opisthosomatic setal row c usually with two pairs of setae, rarely with three pairs or hypertrichous.

<==Prostigmata [Bdellina, Eupodides, Eupodina, Promatides]
    |  i. s.: Eupalus B16
    |           |--E. sternalis Berlese 1916 B16
    |           `--E. subterraneus Berlese 1916 B16
    |         Paratetranychus indicus Hirst 1923 H23
    |         Anychus latus H23
    |--Labidostommatidae (see below for synonymy) DPD16
    |    |--Eunicolina tuberculata WL09
    |    |--Akrostomma WL09
    |    |--Sellnickiella Feider & Vasilliu 1969 H98
    |    |    |--S. adelaideae (Womersley 1935) [=Labidostomma adelaideae, S. adelaidae (l. c.)] H98
    |    |    |--S. brasiliense WL09
    |    |    `--S. womersleyi (Atyeo & Crossley 1961) [=Labidostomma womersleyi, S. wommersleyi (l. c.)] H98
    |    `--Labidostomma Kramer 1879 S61
    |         |  i. s.: L. glumma Grandjean 1942 G42a
    |         |         L. hoegi G42a
    |         |         L. integrum G41
    |         |         L. lyra G42a
    |         |         L. mamillatus (Say 1821) [=Erythraeus mamillatus, Smaris mamillatus] S61
    |         |         L. nepalense WL09
    |         |         ‘Raphignathus’ ruber G42a
    |         |--*L. (Labidostomma) luteum Kramer 1879 SB63 [=Nicoletiella lutea WP99]
    |         |    |--L. l. luteum G42b
    |         |    |--L. l. elongatum Grandjean 1942 G42b
    |         |    `--L. l. repetitor Grandjean 1942 G42a
    |         `--L. (Nicoletiella Can. 1882) WL09, G42a
    |              |--L. (N.) cornuta WL09
    |              |--L. (N.) denticulata WL09 [=Acarus denticulatus G42a]
    |              |--L. (N.) jaquemarti WL09
    |              `--L. (N.) pacifica WL09
    `--+--+--Eupodoidea DPD16
       |  `--+--Eriophyoidea OW01
       |     `--Tydeoidea OW01
       `--+--+--Halacaroidea DPD16
          |  |    |  i. s.: Veladeadcarus gasconi WP99
          |  |    |         Pelacarus WL09
          |  |    |         Corallihalacarus chilcottensis WL09
          |  |    |--Halacaridae S86
          |  |    `--Peza Harvey 1990 H98 [Pezidae WL09]
          |  |         |--P. daps Harvey 1990 H98
          |  |         `--P. ops Harvey 1990 H98
          |  `--Parasitengonina (see below for synonymy) DPD16
          |       |  i. s.: Allotanaupodidae [Allotanaupodoidea] ZF11
          |       |--Trombidiae DPD16
          |       `--+--Erythraeoidea DPD16
          |          `--+--Hydrachnidia DPD16
          |             `--Calyptostoma Cambridge 1875 S61 (see below for synonymy)
          |                  |--C. expalpe (Hermann 1804) S61 (see below for synonymy)
          |                  |--C. caelatum (Berlese 1904) [=Smaris caelata, C. caelata] S76
          |                  |--C. extranea (Koch 1867) [=Smaridia extranea] H98
          |                  |--C. latiseta Shiba 1976 S76
          |                  |--C. lyncaea (Berlese 1887) (see below for synonymy) S61
          |                  |--C. simplexa Shiba 1976 S76
          |                  `--C. velutinus (Müller 1776) [=Acarus velutinus] H98
          `--+--Bdelloidea DPD16
             `--+--Anystina DPD16
                `--Eleutherengonides DPD16

Calyptostoma Cambridge 1875 S61 [Calyptostomatidae DPD16, Calyptostomatoidea, Calyptostomidae, Calyptostomidoidea]

Calyptostoma expalpe (Hermann 1804) S61 [=Trombidium expalpe S61, Smaris expalpis S61; incl. *C. hardii Cambridge 1875 S61, C. hardyi S61, Smaris impressa Koch 1837 S61, S. plana Koch 1879 T04]

Calyptostoma lyncaea (Berlese 1887) [=Smaris lyncaea; incl. S. impressa Canestrini 1882 non Koch 1837] S61

Labidostommatidae [Labidostomatidae, Labidostomatides, Labidostomidae, Labidostommatina, Labidostommatoidea, Labidostommidae, Labidostommina, Nicoletiellidae] DPD16

Parasitengonina [Apobolostigmata, Engonostigmata, Erythraeina, Erythraiae, Parasitengona, Parasitengonae, Parasitenini, Trombidia, Trombidina] DPD16

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B16] Berlese, A. 1916. Centuria terza di Acari nuovi. Redia 12: 289–338.

[DPD16] Dabert, M., H. Proctor & J. Dabert. 2016. Higher-level molecular phylogeny of the water mites (Acariformes: Prostigmata: Parasitengonina: Hydrachnidiae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 101: 75–90.

[G41] Grandjean, F. 1941. Observations sur les acariens (6e série). Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 2e Série 13 (6): 532–539.

[G42a] Grandjean, F. 1942a. Observations sure les Labidostommidae (1re série). Bulletin du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, 2e série 14 (2): 118–125.

[G42b] Grandjean, F. 1942b. Observations sur les Labidostommidae (2e série). Bulletin du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, 2e série 14 (3): 185–192.

[H98] Halliday, R. B. 1998. Mites of Australia: A checklist and bibliography. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.

[H23] Hirst, S. 1923. On some new or little-known species of Acari. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1923: 971–1000.

[OW01] Otto, J. C., & K. J. Wilson. 2001. Assessment of the usefulness of ribosomal 18S and mitochondrial COI sequences in Prostigmata phylogeny. In: Halliday, R. B., D. E. Walter, H. C. Proctor, R. A. Norton & M. J. Colloff (eds) Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress pp. 100–109. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[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.

[S86] Schwoerbel, J. 1986. Acari: Limnohalacaridae and Hydrovolziidae. In: Botosaneanu, L. (ed.) Stygofauna Mundi: A Faunistic, Distributional, and Ecological Synthesis of the World Fauna inhabiting Subterranean Waters (including the Marine Interstitial) pp. 643–647. E. J. Brill/Dr W. Backhuys: Leiden.

[S76] Shiba, M. 1976. Taxonomic investigation on free-living Prostigmata from the Malay Peninsula. Nature and Life in Southeast Asia 7: 83–229.

[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.

[T04] Trägårdh, I. 1904. Fauna Arctica: Eine Zusammenstellung der arktischen Tierformen, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Spitzbergen-Gebietes auf Grund der Ergebnisse der Deutschen Expedition in das Nördliche Eismeer im Jahre 1898 vol. 4 pt 1. Monographie der arktischen Acariden. Gustav Fischer: Jena.

[WL09] Walter, D. E., E. E. Lindquist, I. M. Smith, D. R. Cook & G. W. Krantz. 2009. Order Trombidiformes. In: Krantz, G. W., & D. E. Walter (eds) A Manual of Acarology 3rd ed. pp. 233–420. Texas Tech University Press.

[WP99] Walter, D. E., & H. C. Proctor. 1999. Mites: Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour. CABI Publishing: Wallingford (UK).

[ZF11] Zhang, Z.-Q., Q.-H. Fan, V. Pesic, H. Smit, A. V. Bochkov, A. A. Khaustov, A. Baker, A. Wohltmann, T. Wen, J. W. Amrine, P. Beron, J. Lin, G. Gabryś & R. Husband. 2011. Order Trombiformes Reuter, 1909. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (ed.) Animal biodiversity: an outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148: 129–138.

Last updated: 24 February 2019.

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