Dorsum (a), venter (b) and mandibles (c) of male Leioseius minusculus, from Schweizer (1961).

Belongs within: Gamasina.
Contains: Arctoseius, Asca, Antennoseius.

The Ascidae are a group of predatory mites mostly found in soil and arboreally suspended humus and litter (Lindquist et al. 2009). They are mostly generalised forms; many more specialised taxa previously treated as ascids have been reassigned to distinct families. The two subfamilies Arctoseiinae and Ascinae can be distinguished based on setal counts: Arctoseiinae usually have four pairs of lateral setae on the opisthonotum, together with seven setae each on genua and tibiae III and IV, whereas Ascinae usually have five lateral opisthonotal setae, and eight to ten setae on genua and tibiae III and IV (Krantz & Ainscough 1990). Members of the Arctoseiinae are generally unspecialised in habit and are found among soil litter and on vegetation. Zerconopsis is distinguished from other genera by the presence of paddle-shaped setae on the dorsum (at least the pairs s4 and Z5) and a pair of elongate dorsal setae on each of tarsi II–IV. Genera of Ascinae include Arctoseoides and Leioseius which occur in salt marshes and the seashore and are covered by a schizodorsal shield. Separate podonotal and opisthonotal shields are present in Antennoseius, Asca, Gamasellodes and Protogamasellus (Evans & Till 1979).

Characters (from Lindquist et al. 2009): Deutonymphs and adults with more than twenty pairs of dorsal shield setae; setae J1 present. Movable cheliceral digit usually bidentate; male chelicera with spermatodactyl. Female with third pair of sternal poroids on posterolateral corners of sternal shield, with sternal setae st4 usually free on soft cuticle; male with endopodal strips beside coxae III-IV usually free or narrowly connected to sternitigenital shield.

<==Ascidae [Antennoseiidae, Ascaidae, Vitzthumiidae]
    |  i. s.: Africoseius Krantz 1962 FH93
    |           `--A. areolatus Krantz 1962 FH93
    |         Proctogastrolaelaps McGraw & Farrier 1969 FH93
    |           `--P. libris McGraw & Farrier 1969 FH93
    |--Arctoseiinae LKW09
    |    |--Xenoseius clayi LKW09, KA90
    |    |--Arctoseius FH93
    |    |--Zerconopsis Hull 1918 ET79
    |    |    |--*Z. remiger (Kramer 1876) [=Gamasus remiger] ET79
    |    |    |--Z. decemremiger Evans & Hyatt 1960 FH93
    |    |    |--Z. labradorensis Evans & Hyatt 1960 FH93
    |    |    |--Z. michaeli Evans & Hyatt 1960 FH93
    |    |    |--Z. muestairi LKW09
    |    |    `--Z. unaka De Leon 1964 FH93
    |    `--Iphidozercon Berlese 1903 ET79 [incl. Arctoseiopsis Evans 1954 FH93]
    |         |--*I. gibbus (Berlese 1903) [=Eviphis gibbus] ET79
    |         |--I. aegypticus Hirschmann 1966 H66
    |         |--I. brasiliensis Hirschmann 1966 H66
    |         |--I. californicus Chant 1963 FH93
    |         |--I. corticalis Ewan 1958 H98
    |         |--I. kargi Hirschmann 1966 H66
    |         |--I. longitrichus Hirschmann 1966 H66
    |         |--‘Seiulus’ minutus Halbert 1915 [=*Arctoseiopsis minutus] E57
    |         `--I. schusteri Hirschmann 1966 H66
    `--Ascinae [Ascainae, Ascini] LKW09
         |--Ectoantennoseius Walter 1998 LKW09, W98
         |    `--*E. kitchingi Walter 1998 W98
         |--Anephiasca LKW09
         |--Asca H68
         |--Diseius ulmi W98
         |--Arctopsis WL95
         |--Anystipalpus Berlese 1911 LKW09, LW89
         |    `--*A. percicola Berlese 1911 LW89
         |--Neojordensia Evans 1957 ET79
         |    |--*N. levis (Voigts & Oudemans 1904) ET79 [=Seiulus levis FH93, Lasioseius levis S61]
         |    |--N. orientalis Chant 1963 FH93
         |    `--N. tennesseensis De Leon 1963 FH93
         |--Gamasellodes Athias-Henriot 1961 ET79, FH93
         |    |--*G. vulgatior Athias 1961 ET79
         |    |--G. adrianae Walter 2003 W03
         |    |--G. bicolor (Berlese 1918) FH93 (see below for synonymy)
         |    |--G. claudiae Walter 2003 W03
         |    |--G. ericae Walter 2003 W03
         |    |--G. garmani Hurlbutt 1970 FH93
         |    |--G. hildae W03
         |    |--G. major Athias-Henriot 1961 W03, FH93
         |    |--G. insignis [=Iphidozercon insignis] H70
         |    |--G. minor H70
         |    |--G. plaire W03
         |    |--G. rectiventris Lindquist 1971 FH93
         |    |--G. seminudus (Ryke 1962) [=Digamasellus seminudus] H70
         |    `--G. vermivorax Walter 1987 FH93
         |--Protogamasellus Karg 1962 ET79
         |    |  i. s.: P. ascleronodulus LKW09
         |    |         P. brevicornis J88
         |    |         P. machadoi Genis, Loots & Ryke 1967 [=P. primitivus machadoi] J88
         |    |         P. minimus Jordaan 1988 J88
         |    |         P. minutus WP07
         |    |         P. scuticalis Genis, Loots & Ryke 1967 J88
         |    |--P. (Protogamasellus) FH93
         |    |    |--P. (P.) mica (Athias-Henriot 1961) FH93, H98 (see below for synonymy)
         |    |    `--P. (P.) dispar Genis, Loots & Ryke 1967 FH93
         |    `--P. (Protogamasellodes Evans & Purvis 1987) EP87
         |         |--P. (P.) hibernicus Evans 1982 FH93
         |         `--P. (P.) massulus (Athias-Henriot 1961) [=Rhodacaropsis massula] FH93
         |--Leioseius Berlese 1916 ET79 [incl. Arctoseiodes Willmann 1949 FH93]
         |    |--*L. minusculus (Berlese 1905) ET79 [=Ameroseius minusculus FH93]
         |    |--L. australis Luxton 1984 L90
         |    |--L. californicus Chant 1963 FH93
         |    |--L. crassipes (Berlese 1910) [=Ameroseius crassipes, Lasioseius (Leioseius) crassipes] H98
         |    |--L. elegantulus Schweizer 1949 S61
         |    |--L. elongatus ET79
         |    |--L. favosus (Berlese 1910) [=Ameroseius favosus, Lasioseius (Leioseius) favosus] H98
         |    |--‘Arctoseius’ ibericus Willmann 1949 [=*Arctoseiodes ibericus] ET79
         |    |--L. littorale H83
         |    |--L. setosulus (Berlese 1916) [=Lasioseius (Leioseius) setosulus] FH93
         |    |--L. singularis Karg 1962 K91
         |    |--L. ulmi W03
         |    |--L. vallaensis Luxton 1989 H98
         |    `--L. venustulus S61
         `--Antennoseius ET79

Nomina nuda: Iphidozercon literatus Lindquist 1963 FH93
             Iphidozercon reticaelatus Lindquist 1963 FH93
             Leioseius tuberculatus Lindquist 1963 FH93

Gamasellodes bicolor (Berlese 1918) FH93 [=Gamasellus (Digamasellus) bicolor FH93, Iphidozercon bicolor H70, Leioseius bicolor H70; incl. Gamasellus americanus Garman 1948 FH93, Digamasellus americanus H67, Gamasellodes americanus H70, Digamasellus circuliformis Leitner 1949 FH93, D. shealsi Costa 1962 FH93, Gamasellodes shealsi H70]

Protogamasellus (Protogamasellus) mica (Athias-Henriot 1961) FH93, H98 [=Rhodacarellus mica FH93; incl. *P. primitivus Karg 1962 ET79, FH93, P. primitivus similis Genis, Loots & Ryke 1967 J88]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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[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.

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[H68] Hurlbutt, H. W. 1968. Coexistence and anatomical similarity in two genera of mites, Veigaia and Asca. Systematic Zoology 17 (3): 261–271.

[H70] Hurlbutt, H. W. 1970. Gamasellodes bicolor (Berlese, 1918) (Acarina: Ascidae) and its relatives. Acarologia 12 (3): 474–478.

[J88] Jordaan, L. C. 1988. A redescription of Protogamasellus scuticalis Genis, Loots & Ryke (Acari: Ascidae) and a new species from the Afrotropical region. Phytophylactica 20: 35–38.

[K91] Koehler, H. H. 1991. A five year study on the secondary succession of Gamasina on a ruderal site: the influence of recultivation. 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. 1 pp. 373–383. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[KA90] Krantz, G. W., & B. D. Ainscough. 1990. Acarina: Mesostigmata (Gamasida). In: Dindal, D. L. (ed.) Soil Biology Guide pp. 583–665. John Wiley & Sones: New York.

[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.

[LW89] Lindquist, E. E., & D. E. Walter. 1989. Antennoseius (Vitzthumia) janus n.sp. (Acari: Ascidae), a mesostigmatic mite exhibiting adult female dimorphism. Canadian Journal of Zoology 67: 1291–1310.

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Last updated: 13 April 2021.

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