Dorsum (left) and venter of female Prozercon umidicola, from Urhan (2002).

Belongs within: Gamasina.
Contains: Zercon (Zercon).

The Zerconidae are a family of predatory mites known only from the Northern Hemisphere in habitats such as humus, litter, mosses and animal nests. They commonly (but not always) have serrated lateral margins on the dorsal shields and two pairs of large, sclerotised fossae near the posterior margin (Lindquist et al. 2009). Most genera have the peritremal shield free from the ventro-anal shield but the two are connected in the genera Microzercon and Amerozercon. Amerozercon suspiciosus has a long and plumose seta p2 on the venter laterad of the second and third coxae whereas all ventral setae are short and smooth in Microzercon. The peritremal shield ends truncately just behind the fourth coxae in the genera Macrozercon, Mixozercon, Metazercon and Zercon whereas it is more elongate in Parazercon, Mesozercon, Echinozercon and Prozercon (Błaszak 1975).

See also: Zerconids.

Characters (from Lindquist et al. 2009): Female, male and deutonymph with podonotal and opisthonotal shields well developed, rarely secondarily united; those of adult ornamented and extended laterally so as to bear marginal setae along their usually serrated margins; opisthonotal shield of deutonymph and adult fused caudally with ventrianal shield and often with transverse row of four (sometimes three or two) clearly defined fossae near posterior margin. Male without cheliceral sperm-transferring appendages. Palptarsal apotele two-tined. Tritosternum with well-developed laciniae. Male genital opening between coxae II-III; female epigynal shield with one pair of setae, not flanked by setae in soft integument; female and male with broad ventrianal shield; peritremes well developed in deutonymph, often short in adult but rarely reduced to size of stigmata. Genu III and IV each with ten setae, including two posterolaterals on genu III ( 2 2/1, 2/1 2) and one posteroventral on genu IV (2 2/1, 3/1 1).

<==Zerconidae S58
    |--Syskenozercon JM91
    |--Paleozercon cavernicolus LKW09
    |--Halozercon Wiśniewski, Karg & Hirschmann 1992 ML98
    |    `--*H. karacholana Wiśniewski, Karg & Hirschmann 1992 ML98
    |--Aspar Halašková 1977 FH93
    |    `--A. anisotrichus Halašková 1977 FH93
    |--Bakeras Błaszak 1984 FH93
    |    `--B. opiparus Błaszak 1984 FH93
    |--Bledas Halašková 1977 FH93
    |    `--B. hesperius Halašková 1977 FH93
    |--Caurozercon Halašková 1977 FH93
    |    `--C. duplex Halašková 1977 FH93
    |--Cosmozercon Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |    `--C. setosus Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |--Krantzas Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |    `--K. mirificus Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |--Lindquistas Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |    `--L. amythetes Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |--Macrozercon Błaszak 1975 B75
    |    `--*M. praecipuus (Sellnick 1958) [=Prozercon praecipuus] B75
    |--Mixozercon Halašková 1963 FH93
    |    |--M. sellnicki Schweizer 1948 B75 [=Zercon sellnicki S58]
    |    `--M. stellifer (Aoki 1964) [=Prozercon stellifer] FH93
    |--Monozercon Błaszak 1984 FH93
    |    `--M. aciculatus Błaszak 1984 FH93
    |--Echinozercon Błaszak 1975 B75
    |    |--*E. orientalis Błaszak 1975 B75
    |    `--E. americanus Błaszak 1983 FH93
    |--Amerozercon Halašková 1969 KA90
    |    `--*A. suspiciosus Halašková 1969 B75
    |--‘Allozercon’ Błaszak 1984 non Vitzthum 1924 FH93
    |    `--A. pulcher Błaszak 1984 FH93
    |--Hypozercon Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |    `--H. macleani Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |--Parhozercon Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |    `--P. medialis Błaszak 1981 FH93
    |--Mesozercon Błaszak 1975 B75
    |    `--*M. coreanus Błaszak 1975 B75
    |--Metazercon Błaszak 1975 B75
    |    `--*M. athiasae Błaszak 1975 B75
    |--Microzercon Błaszak 1975 B75
    |    |--*M. californicus (Sellnick 1958) [=Prozercon californicus] B75
    |    `--M. krantzi Błaszak 1980 FH93
    |--Parazercon Trägårdh 1931 [incl. Trizerconoides Jacot 1938] S58
    |    |--*P. sarekensis Willmann 1939 B75 [=Zercon sarekensis S58]
    |    `--P. radiatus (Berlese 1904) S58 (see below for synonymy)
    |--Skeironozercon Halašková 1977 KA90
    |    |--S. embersoni Halašková 1977 FH93
    |    `--S. tricavus Błaszak 1983 FH93
    |--Prozercon Sellnick 1943 B75
    |    |  i. s.: P. aristatus Athias-Henriot 1961 A64
    |    |         P. columbiatus (Berlese 1914) A64 [=Zercon columbianus S58]
    |    |         P. kochi Sellnick 1944 A64 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |         P. ornatus (Berlese 1914) A64 [=Zercon ornatus S58]
    |    |         P. plumatus B75
    |    |--P. (Prozercon) U02
    |    |    |--*P. (P.) fimbriatus (Koch 1839) [=Zercon fimbriatus] S58
    |    |    |--P. (P.) denizliensis Urhan 2002 U02
    |    |    `--P. (P.) tragardhi Halbert 1923 U02
    |    `--P. (Plumatozercon) U02
    |         |--P. (P.) orhani Urhan & Ayyildiz 1996 U02
    |         `--P. (P.) umidicola Urhan 2002 U02
    |--Eurozercon pacificus ML98
    |--Aquilonozercon desuetus ML98
    |--Rafas ML98
    `--Zercon Koch 1836 [incl. Triangulozercon Jacot 1938] S58
         |  i. s.: Z. beleviensis Urhan 2002 U02
         |         Z. bulgaricus Balogh 1961 B61
         |         Z. canadensis Halašková 1977 FH93
         |         Z. capillatus Berlese 1914 S58
         |         Z. carolinensis Halašková 1969 FH93
         |         Z. clairae Halašková 1977 FH93
         |         Z. comatus Halašková 1969 FH93
         |         Z. crinitus Berlese 1920 S58
         |         Z. diessenhofeneri Schweizer 1961 S61
         |         Z. farrieri Halašková 1969 FH93
         |         Z. foveolatus Halaskova 1969 U01
         |         Z. guttulatus Athias-Henriot 1961 U02
         |         Z. hammerae Sellnick 1960 FH93
         |         Z. helveticus Schweizer 1961 S61
         |         Z. insolitus Halašková 1969 FH93
         |         Z. jurassicus Schweizer 1961 S61
         |         Z. kevani Halašková 1977 FH93
         |         Z. lepurus Błaszak 1979 U01
         |         Z. lindquisti Halašková 1977 FH93
         |         Z. lindrothi Lundqvist & Johnston 1985 U02
         |         Z. lischanni Schweizer 1961 S61
         |         Z. lundbecki Trägårdh 1906 FH93
         |         Z. michaeli Halašková 1977 FH93
         |         Z. nemoralis Urhan 2001 U01
         |         Z. nivalis Schweizer 1961 S61
         |         Z. nortoni Błaszak 1980 FH93
         |         Z. ovalis Balan 1972 U01
         |         Z. pinicola M96
         |         Z. quadricrinus Berlese 1916 S58
         |         Z. salmani Urhan 2002 U02
         |         Z. septemporus Urhan 2001 U01
         |         Z. shcherbakae Balan 1994 U02
         |         Z. suecicus Sellnick 1944 S61
         |--Z. (Zercon) S58
         `--Z. (Zerconella Willmann 1953) S58
              `--Z. (*Z.) leitnerae Willmann 1953 S58

Parazercon radiatus (Berlese 1904) S58 [=Zercon radiatus S58, *Trizerconoides radiatus S58; incl. T. misgenatus Jacot 1938 FH93, Zercon ornatus Trägårdh 1931 non Berlese 1904 S58, Parazercon ornatus S58, Z. trigonus Berelese 1904 S58, Prozercon trigonus S58]

Prozercon kochi Sellnick 1944 A64 [incl. P. kochi var. pluripennatus Sellnick 1944 S58, P. willmanni Schweizer 1948 S58]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A64] Aoki, J. 1964. Der erste Bericht über die Familie Zerconidae aus Japan (Acarina: Mesostigmata). Pacific Insects 6 (3): 489–493.

[B61] Balogh, J. 1961. Zercon bulgaricus spec. nov. (Mesostigmata, Acari). Folia Entomologica Hungarica (series nova) 14 (29): 433–435.

[B75] Błaszak, C. 1975. A revision of the family Zerconidae (Acari, Mesostigmata) (systematic studies on family Zerconidae—I). Acarologia 17 (4): 553–569.

[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.

[JM91] Johnston, D. E., & M. L. Moraza. 1991. The idiosomal adenotaxy and poroidotaxy of Zerconidae (Mesostigmata: Zerconina). 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. 349–356. 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.

[ML98] Moraza, M. L., & E. E. Lindquist. 1998. Coprozerconidae, a new family of zerconoid mites from North America (Acari: Mesostigmata: Zerconoidea). Acarologia 39: 291–313.

[M96] Munderloh, E. 1996. Gamasina (Mesostigmata) in a dune transect at Spiekeroog (Germany, Lower Saxony). In: Mitchell, R., D. J. Horn, G. R. Needham & W. C. Welbourn (eds) Acarology IX vol. 1. Proceedings pp. 589–594. Ohio Biological Survey: Columbus (Ohio).

[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.

[S58] Sellnick, M. 1958. Die familie Zerconidae Berlese. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 3: 313–368.

[U01] Urhan, R. 2001. Two new species of the genus Zercon Koch from Turkey (Acari: Gamasida: Zerconidae). Genus 12 (4): 589–597.

[U02] Urhan, R. 2002. New zerconid mites (Acari: Gamasida: Zerconidae) from Turkey. Journal of Natural History 36: 2127–2138.

Last updated: 22 April 2021.

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