Cunaxoides sp., copyright Centre for Biodiversity Genomics.

Belongs within: Prostigmata.
Contains: Bdellodes, Bdella, Cunaxinae.

The Bdelloidea are a group of predatory mites characterised by an elongate gnathosoma, bearing elongate free chelicerae capable of extensive lateral movement and flanked by similarly elongate palps. In members of the family Bdellidae, commonly known as snout mites, the palps are tipped by a pair of long sensory setae (or a single such seta in the genus Monotrichobdella). Members of the other family, the Cunaxidae, usually have a stout terminal spine on each palp. Most bdelloids are soft-bodied but sclerotised forms include the bdellid genus Trachymolgus and the cunaxid Scutascirus. Members of the Bdellidae secrete silk from the buccal cavity that is used to secure prey and construct moulting chambers. Cunaxidae capture prey by grasping it with the pedipalps and piercing it with their chelicerae (Walter et al. 2009).

Characters (from Walter et al. 2009): Soft-bodied to well-sclerotised forms, with two pairs of prodorsal sensilla and with 12-14 additional pairs of dorsal, lateral, and caudal setae, lateral ocelli present or absent. With 1-3 pairs of dorsal cupules (3 pairs in Bdellidae, 1-3 pairs in Cunaxidae) and one pair posteroventrally (lyrifissure ih or ips); rudimentary caudal segment PS present, along with setae ps1 and ps2, segment AD and associated setae ad1 may be present (Bdellidae). Ventrally with three pairs of genital papillae plus two or more eugenital setae (Bdellidae) or with two pairs of genital papillae and typically lacking eugenital setae (Cunaxidae); hypostome with two or six pairs of macrosetae. Cheliceral bases separated and hinged to rostrum, chelicerae usually elongate and capable of lateral scissors-like movement, both cheliceral setae usually present (Bdellidae), or seta cha absent (Cunaxidae); cheliceral digits either well developed and chelate (some Bdellidae) or fixed digit reduced and movable digit hooklike; palpi with 3-5 segments, sometimes armed with strong paraxial spines, palpal tibiotarsus terminating in a pair of long tactile setae (one seta in Monotrichobdella) (Bdellidae) or clawlike and raptorial (Cunaxidae). Podocephalic canals often apparent internally or externally above coxal fields I. Tarsi I-IV with claws, empodia pad- or clawlike; always with a leg trichobothrium on tibia IV, trichobothria present or absent on tibia I–II and on tarsi III–IV; always absent on tarsus I. Eggs globular or flat and lenticular, often tuberculate or ornamented with spiny projections; male sperm transfer indirect in Bdellidae and most Cunaxidae but a sclerotised aedeagus present in some Cunaxidae. Five postembryonic noncalyptostatic instars: larva, protonymph, deutonymph, tritonymph, and adult; calyptostatic prelarva present in Bdellidae.

<==Bdelloidea [Cunaxoidea]
    |--Bdellidae [Bdellini] WL09
    |    |  i. s.: Monotrichobdella WL09
    |    |         Neomolgus Oudemans 1937 H98
    |    |           |--N. clypeatus (Thor 1930) [=Molgus clypeatus] H98
    |    |           |--N. lateralis S91
    |    |           `--N. littoralis WL09
    |    |         Hoplomolgus Berlese 1923 SB63
    |    |           |--*H. capillatus (Berlese 1891) SB63 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |           |--H. aequalis Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
    |    |           |--H. berlesei S51
    |    |           |--H. helveticus Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
    |    |           |--H. monticola (Willmann 1951) [=Neomolgus monticola] SB63
    |    |           |--H. obsoletus Berlese 1923 SB63
    |    |           |--H. raeticus Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
    |    |           |--H. reticulatus Schweizer & Bader 1963 SB63
    |    |           |--H. sublimus Berlese 1923 S51
    |    |           `--H. tuberculatus Berlese 1923 SB63
    |    |--Odontoscirinae G38
    |    |    |--Molgus littoralis (Linné 1758) G38, TU33
    |    |    `--Bdellodes G38
    |    |--Cytinae G38
    |    |    |--Trachymolgus Berlese 1923 SB63
    |    |    |    `--*T. nigerrimus (Canestrini & Fanzago 1876) [=Bdella nigerrima] SB63
    |    |    `--Cyta von Heyden 1826 H98 [incl. Ammonia Koch 1842 non Brünnich 1772 T05, EH19]
    |    |         |--*C. latirostris (Hermann 1904) SB63, S91 (see below for synonymy)
    |    |         |--C. coerulipes (Dugès 1834) SB63
    |    |         |--C. kauaiensis S91
    |    |         |--C. longiseta Wallace & Mahon 1973 H98
    |    |         `--C. magdalenae M-PV-G01
    |    |--Spinibdellinae G38
    |    |    |--Biscirus Thor 1913 G38, H98
    |    |    |    |--B. antarcticus [=Bdella antarctica] T31
    |    |    |    |--B. aquilonius Wallace & Mahon 1973 H98
    |    |    |    |--B. arenarius Wallace & Mahon 1973 H98
    |    |    |    |--B. intermedius Sig Thor 1928 SB63 [=Thoribdella intermedia G38]
    |    |    |    |--B. norvegicus (Sig Thor 1905) [=Scirus norvegicus] SB63
    |    |    |    |--B. obliquus Wallace & Mahon 1973 [=B. ubliquus] H98
    |    |    |    |--B. opimus [=Hoplomolgus opimus] T31
    |    |    |    |--B. silvaticus (Kramer 1881) [=Bdella silvatica] SB63
    |    |    |    |--B. thori Womersley 1933 H98
    |    |    |    `--B. uncinatus WL09
    |    |    `--Spinibdella Thor 1930 H98
    |    |         |--S. ampulla Wallace & Mahon 1973 H98
    |    |         |--S. bifurcata Atyeo 1960 S76
    |    |         |--S. bioculata S91
    |    |         |--S. corticis (Ewing 1909) [=Bdella corticis] H98
    |    |         |--S. cronini (Baker & Balock 1944) [=Bdella cronini] H98
    |    |         |--S. depressa S91
    |    |         |--S. gibberabdomen (Thor 1931) [=Bdella gibberabdomen] G38
    |    |         |--S. howarthi S91
    |    |         |--S. tenuirostris (Ewing 1917) [=Bdella tenuirostris] H98
    |    |         `--S. thori (Meyer & Ryke 1959) [=Bdella thori] H98
    |    `--Bdella G38
    `--Cunaxidae WL09
         |  i. s.: Pseudobonzia Smiley 1975 M-PV-G01, L82
         |           |--P. breviscuta Luxton 1982 L82
         |           `--P. reticulata L82
         |         Parabonzia bdelliformis NK94
         |         Scutascirus WL09
         |         Bonzia halacaroides NK94
         |--Coleoscirinae WL09
         |    |--Neoscirula sevidi WL09, WK91
         |    `--Coleoscirus Berlese 1917 S76
         |         |--C. coatesi NK94
         |         |--C. ogawai Shiba 1976 S76
         |         `--C. simplex WL09
         |--Cunaxoidinae WL09
         |    |--Pulaeus WL09
         |    |    |--P. clarae WHE88
         |    |    `--P. glebulentis NK94
         |    |--Neocunaxoides Smiley 1975 WL09, H98 [incl. Scutopalus Den Heyer 1980 H98]
         |    |    |--N. andrei (Baker & Hoffmann 1948) [=Cunaxoides andrei] H98
         |    |    `--N. latisetosus (Den Heyer 1980) [=Scutopalus latisetosus] H98
         |    `--Cunaxoides Baker & Hoffman 1949 S76
         |         |--C. clavatus Shiba 1976 S76
         |         |--C. croceus (Koch 1838) [=Eupalus croceus] SB63
         |         |--C. minutus S76
         |         |--C. neopectinatus Shiba 1976 S76
         |         |--C. nicobarensis Gupta & Gosch 1980 E-VVM-M07
         |         |--C. oliveri WL09
         |         |--C. parapatzcuarensis Shiba 1976 S76
         |         |--C. parvus WL09
         |         |--C. patzcuarensis S76
         |         |--C. pectinatus S76
         |         |--C. pectinellus S76
         |         `--C. pseudominutus Shiba 1976 S76
         `--Cunaxinae WL09

*Cyta latirostris (Hermann 1904) SB63, S91 [=Scirus latirostris H98; incl. Bdella brevirostris Koch 1879 T05, Ammonia brevirostris T05, Cyta latirostris var. brevirostris T05, Bdella mollissima Koch 1879 T05]

*Hoplomolgus capillatus (Berlese 1891) SB63 [=Bdella capillata SB63, Molgus capillatus SB63, Neomolgus capillatus H98; incl. Bdella pallipes Koch 1879 T05, B. basteri f. pallipes T05, B. capillata var. pallipes T05]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[EH19] Énay, R., & M. K. Howarth. 2019. Part L, revised, volume 3B, chapter 7: Systematic descriptions of the Perisphinctoidea. Treatise Online 120: 1–184.

[E-VVM-M07] Estrada-Venegas, E. G., I. M. Vázquez & J. A. Moreno-Moreno. 2007. Prostigmatid mites (Acarida: Prostigmata) in decaying wood from “La Mancha” Veracruz, Mexico. In: Morales-Malacara, J. B., V. M. Behan-Pelletier, E. Ueckermann, T. M. Pérez, E. G. Estrada-Venegas & M. Badii (eds) Acarology XI: Proceedings of the International Congress pp. 691–695. Instituto de Biología and Faculdad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Sociedad Latinoamericana de Acarología: México.

[G38] Grandjean, F. 1938. Observations sur les bdelles (acariens). Annales de la Société Entomologique de France 107: 1–24.

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

[L82] Luxton, M. 1982. Some new species of mites from New Zealand peat soils. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 9: 325–332.

[M-PV-G01] Montiel-Parra, G., G. A. Villegas-Guzman, M. Vargas & O. J. Polaco. 2001. Mites associated with nests of Neotoma albigula Hartley, 1894 (Rodentia: Muridae) in Durango, México. 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. 586–593. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

[NK94] Norton, R. A., & J. B. Kethley. 1994. Ecdysial cleavage lines of acariform mites (Arachnida, Acari). Zoologica Scripta 23 (3): 175–191.

[S51] Schweizer, J. 1951. Die Landmilben des schweizerischen Nationalparkes. 2. Teil: Trombidiformes. Ergebnisse der wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung des schweizerischen Nationalparks [Résultats des recherches scientifiques entreprises au Parc National Suisse] 3 (Neue Folge): 51–172.

[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.

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

[S91] Swift, S. F. 1991. Some observations on the podocephalic canals and tarsal claws of Bdellidae (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. 249–252. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[TU33] Thor, S., & T. Uchida. 1933. Acarinen aus den Nordkurilen. Bulletin of the Biogeographical Society of Japan 4 (2): 137–138.

[T05] Trägårdh, I. 1905. Monographie der arktischen Acariden. In: Römer, F., & F. Schaudinn (eds) Fauna Arctica. Eine Zusammenstellun der arktischen Tierformen, mit besonder Berücksichtigung des Spitzbergen-Gebietes auf Grund der Ergebnisse der Deutschen Expedition in das Nördliche Eismeer im Jahre 1898 vol. 4 pp. 1–78. Gustav Fischer: Jena.

[T31] Trägårdh, I. 1931. Acarina from the Juan Fernandez Islands. Natural History of Juan Fernandez and Easter Islands 3 (4): 553–628.

[WHE88] Walter, D. E., H. W. Hunt & E. T. Elliott. 1988. Guilds or functional groups? An analysis of predatory arthropods from a shortgrass steppe soil. Pedobiologia 31: 247–260.

[WK91] Walter, D. E., & D. T. Kaplan. 1991. Observations on Coleoscirus simplex (Acarina: Prostigmata), a predatory mite that colonizes greenhouse cultures of rootknot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.) and a review of feeding behavior in the Cunaxidae. Experimental and Applied Acarology 12: 47–59.

[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.

Last updated: 23 July 2022.

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