Poecilochirus necrophori, from

Belongs within: Gamasina.
Contains: Pergamasus, Parasitus, Eugamasus.

The Parasitidae are a group of free-living predatory mites (not, despite their name, parasites) that are primarily found in ground-level substrates where they feed on microarthropods and nematodes. Members of the Parasitidae are divided between the Pergamasinae, which are mostly found in stable soil, humus and moss habitats, and the Parasitinae, which are often found in more temporary debris (Lindquist et al. 2009). Females of Pergamasinae have the dorsum covered by a single holodorsal shield whereas Parasitinae have separate podonotal and opisthonotal shields, or a single but deeply incised schizodorsal shield. In the pergamasine genus Holoparasitus, the holodorsal shield is further fused posteriorly with the opisthogastric shield (Evans & Till 1979). Species of Holoparasitus are found in damp habitats such as marshes or among beach debris (Lindquist et al. 2009).

Deutonymphs of Parasitinae are commonly phoretic on insects with misinterpretation of this habit resulting in the family's misleading name. Deutonymphs of Pergamasinae are not known to be phoretic (Lindquist et al. 2009). Species of the genus Parasitellus are specifically associated with Bombus bumble bees (Evans & Till 1979).

Characters (from Lindquist et al. 2009): Adult dorsal shield entire or divided or with a pair of lateral incisions in female, entire with at most a transverse line of fusion of two shields in male. Female sternal shield with three pairs of setae; epigynal shield triangular, flanked by large discrete metasternal shields, and abutting or rarely coalescing with a ventrianal shield that is variously fused with podal, peritrematic or, more rarely, dorsal shield elements; presternal platelets frequently present. Tibia I typically with four ventral setae, six dorsal setae and two anterolateral setae (2 3/2, 3/2 2); tibia III with eight or nine setae (2 1/1, 2/1 1(2)); chaetotaxy of genu IV 2 2/1, 3/1 1. Palptarsal apotele three-timed. Female tocospermous. Male with genital aperture at anterior margin of holoventral or sternitigenital shield, typically with highly developed spurs and apophyses on legs II; chelicerae with sperm-holding structure (spermatotreme) that is coalesced distally with movable digit. Larva without pygidial shield; protonymphal pygidial shield reduced laterally, generally with four or five pairs of setae (without setae S4-S5), of shield sometimes absent; dorsal shield of deutonymph divided.

<==Parasitidae [Eugamasidae, Gamasidae, Neotocospermata, Parasitiae, Parasitides, Parasitina, Parasitoidea, Saprogamasidae]
    |--Pergamasinae LKW09
    |    |--Pergamasus D91
    |    |--Pergamasellus Evans 1957 ET79
    |    |    `--*P. delicatus Evans 1957 ET79
    |    `--Holoparasitus Oudemans 1936 ET79 [incl. Ologamasus Berlese 1906 non Berlese 1888 FH93]
    |         |--*H. calcaratus (Koch 1839) ET79 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--H. berlesei Oudemans 1936 S61
    |         |--H. excipuliger (Berlese 1903) FH93 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--H. inornatus (Berlese 1906) S61 [=Gamasus (Ologamasus) inoratus S22]
    |         |--H. pollicipatus (Berlese 1903) S61 (see below for synonymy)
    |         `--H. stramenti Karg 1971 D91
    `--Parasitinae D91
         |--Parasitus FH93
         |--Eugamasus ET79
         |--Cornigamasus Evans & Till 1979 ET79
         |    `--*C. lunaris (Berlese 1882) ET79 (see below for synonymy)
         |--Porrhostaspis Müller 1859 ET79, FH93 (see below for synonymy)
         |    `--*P. lunulata Müller 1859 ET79, FH93
         |--Parasitellus Willmann 1939 ET79
         |    |--P. fucorum (DeGeer 1778) FH93 (see below for synonymy)
         |    `--P. talparum (Oudemans 1913) [=Parasitus talparum; incl. Parasitus bombophilus Vitzthum 1930] FH93
         |--Trachygamasus Berlese 1904 [incl. Saprogamasus Willm. 1949, Willmanniella Goetz 1969] ET79
         |    |--*T. pusillus (Berlese 1892) [=Gamasus pusillus] ET79
         |    `--T. ambulacralis ET79
         |--Gamasodes Oudemans 1939 ET79
         |    |--G. spiniger (Traegardh 1910) ET79 (see below for synonymy)
         |    |--G. bispinosus halbert 1915 FH93
         |    `--G. queenslandicus LKW09
         |--Vulgarogamasus Tichomirov 1969 ET79
         |    |--*V. burchanensis (Oudemans 1903) [=Parasitus burchanensis] ET79
         |    |--V. bifurcus (Ewing 1913) [=Gamasus bifurcus] FH93
         |    |--V. kraepelini L91
         |    `--V. pollinerus El-Banhawy & Nasr 1984 FH93
         `--Poecilochirus Canestrini & Canestrini 1882 ET79 [incl. Gamasoides Berlese 1904 FH93; Poecilochiridae]
              |--*P. carabi Canestrini & Canestrini 1882 ET79 [incl. Gamasodes eurasiaticus Trägårdh 1937 FH93]
              |--P. austrioasiaticus R96
              |--P. monospinosus Wise, Hennessey & Axtell 1988 FH93
              |--P. necrophori Vitzthum 1931 LKW09, FH93
              |--P. pilosulus (Banks 1904) [=Laelaps pilosula] FH93
              `--P. subterraneus (Müller 1860) [=Porrhostaspis subterranea] FH93

Parasitidae incertae sedis:
  Euparasitus similis DW10
  Psilogamasus Athias-Henriot 1969 FH93
    `--P. hurlbutti Athias-Henriot 1969 FH93
  Cycetogamasus Athias-Henriot 1980 FH93
    |--C. californicus (Banks 1904) [=Gamasus californicus] FH93
    |--C. diviortus (Athias-Henriot 1967) [=Pergamasus diviortus] FH93
    `--C. planeticus Hennessey & Farrier 1989 FH93
  Neogamasus Tichomirov 1969 FH93
    |--N. apodius Hennessey & Farrier 1989 FH93
    |--N. bifiditectus Hennessey & Farrier 1989 FH93
    |--N. cervicornis (Van Daele 1975) [=Parasitus cervicornis; incl. N. franzi Athias-Henriot 1977] FH93
    `--N. unicornutus (Ewing 1909) [=Gamasus unicornutus; incl. Parasitus islandicus Sellnick 1940] FH93
  Paracarpais Athias-Henriot 1978 FH93
    `--P. (Gigacarpais) exilis (Banks 1900) [=Holostaspis exilis] FH93
  Phityogamasus Juvara-Balş & Athias-Henriot 1972 FH93
    `--P. primitivus (Oudemans 1904) FH93 (see below for synonymy)
  Phorytocarpais Athias-Henriot 1979 FH93
    |--P. americanus (Berlese 1906) [=Gamasus americanus, Parasitus americanus] H98
    |--P. distinctus (Berlese 1903) [=Gamasus distinctus] FH93
    |--P. fimetorum (Berlese 1903) FH93 (see below for synonymy)
    `--P. hyalinus (Willmann 1949) [=Eugamasus hyalinus] FH93
  Rhabdocarpais Athias-Henriot 1981 FH93
    |--R. consanguineus (Oudemans & Voigts in Voigts & Oudemans 1904) FH93 (see below for synonymy)
    `--R. cunicularis (Womersley 1956) [=Eugamasus cunicularis, Parasitus cunicularis] H98
  Schizostethus Athias-Henriot 1982 FH93
    |--S. lyriformis (McGraw & Farrier 1969) [=Eugamasus lyriformis] FH93
    `--S. vicarius Athias-Henriot 1982 FH93
  Zelogamasus Hennessey & Farrier 1989 FH93
    `--Z. oligochaetus Hennessey & Farrier 1989 FH93
  Oocarpais Berlese 1916 B63
    `--*O. donisthorpei Berlese 1916 B16
  Oxynamba liliputana Karsch 1881 M98

*Cornigamasus lunaris (Berlese 1882) ET79 [=Gamasus coleoptratorum var. lunaris FH93, Parasitus lunaris S61; incl. P. spinipediformis Trägårdh 1906 FH93]

Gamasodes spiniger (Traegardh 1910) ET79 [=Eugamasus spiniger ET79; incl. *Gamasodes spiniger Oudemans 1936 non Eugamasus spiniger Traegardh 1910 ET79, Gamasus spinipes Koch 1841 non Say 1821 S61]

*Holoparasitus calcaratus (Koch 1839) ET79 [=Gamasus calcaratus ET79, G. (Ologamasus) calcaratus S22; incl. H. calcaratus var. siculus (Berlese 1906) S61]

Holoparasitus excipuliger (Berlese 1903) FH93 [=Gamasus (Hologamasus) pollicipatus var. excipuliger FH93, Holop. pollicipatus var. expuliger S61]

Holoparasitus pollicipatus (Berlese 1903) S61 [=Gamasus (Ologamasus) pollicipatus S22; incl. H. pollicipatus var. basileus Schweizer 1961 S61, H. pollicipatus var. calixus Schweizer 1961 S61, H. pollicipatus var. fibularius Schweizer 1961 S61, H. pollicipatus var. helveticus Schweizer 1961 S61, Gamasus (Ologamasus) pollicipatus var. pseudoperforatus S22]

Parasitellus fucorum (DeGeer 1778) FH93 [=Acarus fucorum FH93, Parasitus fucorum S61; incl. Parasitus bomborum Oudemans 1902 FH93, Acarus coleoptratorum Fabricius 1780 non Linnaeus 1758 FH93, Eugamasus ferox Traegardh 1910 ET79, *Parasitellus ferox ET79]

Phityogamasus primitivus (Oudemans 1904) FH93 [=Parasitus primitivus FH93, Gamasus (Pergamasus) primitivus V25; incl. G. (P.) effeminatus Berlese 1904 V25]

Phorytocarpais fimetorum (Berlese 1903) FH93 [=Gamasus fimetorum FH93, Parasitus fimetorum K91; incl. Pa. affinis Oudemans 1904 FH93, Ggmasus (l. c.) posticatus Banks 1910 FH93]

Porrhostaspis Müller 1859 ET79, FH93 [=Porrhostapsis (l. c.) FH93; incl. Eteocarpais Athias-Henriot 1978 FH93]

Rhabdocarpais consanguineus (Oudemans & Voigts in Voigts & Oudemans 1904) FH93 [=Parasitus consanguineus FH93, Gamasus consanguineus S22; incl. G. inarmatus Ewing 1920 FH93]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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

[B63] Bhattacharyya, S. K. 1963. A revision of the British mites of the genus Pergamasus Berlese (Acari: Mesostigmata). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History): Zoology 11 (2): 133–241.

[DW10] Dabert, M., W. Witalinski, A. Kazmierski, Z. Olszanowski & J. Dabert. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of acariform mites (Acari, Arachnida): strong conflict between phylogenetic signal and long-branch attraction artifacts. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56 (1): 222–241.

[D91] Dielmann, M. 1991. Computer in acarine taxonomy: a method for systematical analysis of the genus Pergamasus (Acari: Mesostigmata). 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. 239–248. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[ET79] Evans, G. O., & W. M. Till. 1979. Mesostigmatic mites of Britain and Ireland (Chelicerata: Acari-Parasitiformes). An introduction to their external morphology and classification. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 35: 139–270.

[FH93] Farrier, M. H., & M. K. Hennessey. 1993. Soil-inhabiting and free-living Mesostigmata (Acari-Parasitiformes) from North America: an annotated checklist with bibliography and index. North Carolina Agricultural Research Service, North Carolina State University, Technical Bulletin 302: i–xvi, 1–408.

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

[K91] Koehler, H. H. 1991. The impact of aldicarb on the succession of Gamasina; a one year study. 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. 749–758. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[LKW09] Lindquist, E. E., G. W. Krantz & D. E. Walter. 2009. Order Mesostigmata. In: Krantz, G. W., & D. E. Walter (eds) A Manual of Acarology 3rd ed. pp. 124–232. Texas Tech University Press.

[L91] Lundqvist, L. 1991. Rearing deutonymphs of Iphidosoma fimetarium (J. Müller), a mesostigmatic mite associated with carabid beetles. In: Schuster, R., & P. W. Murphy (eds) The Acari: Reproduction, development and life-history strategies pp. 447–452. Chapman & Hall: London.

[M98] Michael, A. D. 1898. Oribatidae. In: H. Lohmann (ed.) Das Tierreich. Eine Zusammenstellung und Kennzeichnung der rezenten Tierformen vol. 3. Acarina pp. 1–93. R. Friedländer und Sohn: Berlin.

[R96] Ruf, A. 1996. Life-history patterns in soil-inhabiting mesostigmatid mites (Dermanyssina, Parasitina). In: Mitchell, R., D. J. Horn, G. R. Needham & W. C. Welbourn (eds) Acarology IX vol. 1. Proceedings pp. 621–628. Ohio Biological Survey: Columbus (Ohio).

[S22] Schweizer, J. 1922. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der terrestrischen Milbenfauna der Schweiz. Verhandl. Naturf. Ges. Basel 33: 23–112, 4 pls.

[S61] Schweizer, J. 1961. Die Landmilben der Schweiz (Mittelland, Jura und Alpen): Parasitiformes Reuter, mit 246 Arten und Varietäten und 268 meist kombinierten Originalzeichnungen. Denkschriften der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft [Mémoires de la Société Helvétique des Sciences Naturelles] 84: i–vii, 1–207.

[V25] Vitzthum, H. 1925. Fauna sumatrensis. (Beitrag no. 5). Acarinae. Supplementa Entomologica 11: 1–79.

Last updated: 22 April 2021.

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