Female Soldanellonyx chappuisi, copyright Holger Müller.

Belongs within: Trombidiformes.
Contains: CopidognathusActacarus, Lohmannellinae, Limnohalacarinae, Isobactrus, Rhombognathus, Rhombognathides, SimognathusAcaromantis, Agauopsis, Halacarus, Agaue, Halacarellus, Anomalohalacarus.

The Halacaridae are a diverse group of aquatic mites including both marine and freshwater forms. They do not swim, but have strong tarsal claws for movement and for holding themselves in place. The majority of species are predators or algal feeders but a number are parasites or obligate commensals of other aquatic invertebrates (Walter et al. 2009). Such species include Enterohalacarus minutipalpis, found in the gut of the sea urchin Plesioderma indicum, and the Australian Astacopsiphagus parasiticus, found on the gills of the freshwater crayfish Euastacus spinifer (Walter & Proctor 1999). The Australian species Spongihalacarus longiscutis is associated with “sponge weed” (a symbiotic association of the sponge Haliclona cymaeformis with the red alga Ceratodictyon spongiosum) and its strongly reduced palps suggest it may also be parasitic (Walter et al. 2009).

Characters (from Walter et al. 2009): Five to ten pairs of dorsal idiosomatic setae present; prodorsal bothridial setae absent. Tarsi I-IV with strongly developed lateral claws, usually with serrate margins, often with a claw-like or bifid empodium. Adults with two to several pairs of genital papillae.

Halacaridae [Limnohalacaridae, Pleuromerengona]
| | `--Rhombognathinae [Rhombognathidae]B07
| | |--IsobactrusAB07
| | |--RhombognathusS-TK22
| | |--RhombognathidesN47
| | `--Metarhombognathus Newell 1947N47
| | |--*M. armatus (Lohmann 1893) [=Rhombognathus armatus; incl. R. mollis Viets 1927]N47
| | | |--M. a. armatusN47
| | | `--M. a. americanus Newell 1947N47
| | `--M. nudus (Viets 1928) [incl. Rhombognathopsis contectus Viets 1928]N47
| `--+--SimognathinaeB86
| | |--Atelopsalis Trouessart 1896N47
| | | `--*A. tricuspis Trouessart 1896T96
| | |--Ischyrognathus Trouessart 1900N47
| | | `--I. coutieriN47
| | |--SimognathusS-TK22
| | `--AcaromantisB86
| `--+--AcarothrixS-TK22
| `--+--Thalassarachna Packard 1871 (see below for synonymy)N47
| | |--*T. basteri (Johnston 1836) (see below for synonymy)N47
| | | |--T. b. basteriM62
| | | `--‘Halacarus’ b. affinisM62
| | |--T. longipes (Trouessart 1888) (see below for synonymy)N47
| | |--T. lubricus (Bartsch 1985) [=Halacarellus lubricus]H98
| | |--T. nova (Lohmann 1908) [=Halacarus (Thalassarachna) novus]SL71
| | |--T. procera (Viets 1927) [=Halacarus (Thalassarachna) procerus]N47
| | |--T. psammophila (Bartsch 1993)WL09, H98 [=Halacarus psammophilusH98]
| | `--T. raphidochelaWL09
| `--Bradyagaue Newell 1971S-TK22, H98
| |--*B. drygalskii (Lohmann 1907) [=Halacarus drygalskii]L90
| `--B. scutella Bartsch 1992H98
|--Pontacarus Lohmann 1901N47
|--Troglohalacarus Viets 1937S86
| `--T. dentipes Viets 1937S86
|--Coloboceras Trouessart 1889N47
| |--*C. longiusculusT96
| `--C. koehleri Trouessart 1896T96
|--Bathyhalacarus Sokolov & Yankovskaya 1968B05
| |--B. acutus Bartsch 1982B05
| |--B. angustops (Newell 1984)B05
| `--B. anomalus Bartsch 2005B05
|--Lobohalacarus Viets 1939S86 [incl. Walterella Romijn & Viets 1924 (preoc.)H98]
| |--L. bunurong Harvey 1988H98
| `--L. weberi (Romijn & Viets 1924)S86
| |--L. w. weberiS86
| |--L. w. gotoensis Imamura 1970S86
| `--L. w. quadriporus (Walter 1947)S86

Halacaridae incertae sedis:
Halacaropsis Bartsch 1996H98
|--H. capuzina Bartsch 1996H98
|--H. hirsuta (Trouessart 1889) [=Agaue hirsuta, Agauopsis hirsuta]H98
`--H. warringa (Otto 1993) [=Agauopsis warringa]H98
Parhalixodes traveiWL09, WP99
Spongihalacarus longiscutisWL09
Peregrinacarus reticulatusWL09
Australacarus Bartsch 1987H98
`--A. pustulatus Bartsch 1993H98
Phacacarus Bartsch 1992H98
`--P. flavellus Bartsch 1992H98
MictognathusB05 [MictognathinaeWL09]
Ropohalacarus [Ropohalacarinae]WL09
Astacopsiphagus Viets 1931H98 [AstacopsiphaginaeWL09]
`--A. parasiticus Viets 1931H98
Enterohalacarus Viets 1938 [Enterohalacarinae]N47
`--E. minutipalpusK09
Halixodes Brucker & Trouessart 1900 [Halixodinae]N47
|--*H. truncipes Chilton 1883 [=Halacarus truncipes]L90
|--H. chitonis (Brucker 1897) [=Agaue chitonis]L90
| |--H. c. chitonisL90
| `--H. c. stoutae Viets 1959L90
`--H. novaezelandiaeL90
Acarochelopodia Angelier 1954 [Acarochelopodinae]B86
|--A. aduncispina Bartsch 1977B86
|--A. angelieri Travé 1972B86
|--A. cuneifera Bartsch 1977B86
`--A. delamarei Angelier 1954B86
Porohalacarinae [Porohalacaridae]N47
|--Porohalacarus Thor 1923N47
| `--P. alpinusBK91
`--Caspihalacarus Viets 1928N47
`--C. hyrcanusWL09
`--Werthella Lohmann 1907B05
|--W. ampliata Bartsch 1996H98
|--W. atlantica Bartsch 1986B05
|--W. parvirostris (Trouessart 1889)L90 [=Copidognathus parvirostrisN47]
|--W. plumifera Newell 1971B05
`--W. terella Bartsch 1993B05

Thalassarachna Packard 1871 [incl. Leptopsalis Trouessart 1888 non Thorell 1882, Leptosalis (l. c.), Leptospathis Trouessart 1894]N47

*Thalassarachna basteri (Johnston 1836) [=Acarus basteri, Bdella basteri, Halacarellus basteri, Halacarus (*Thalassarachna) basteri; incl. H. spinifer Lohmann 1889, H. spiniger, Thalassarachna verrilli Packard 1871, Halacarus verrilli]N47

Thalassarachna longipes (Trouessart 1888) [=*Leptopsalis longipes, Halacarellus longipes, Halacarus (Thalassarachna) longipes, *Leptospathis longipes; incl. Halacarus levipes Trouessart 1889, Halacarus murrayi Lohmann 1889]N47

*Type species of generic name indicated


[AB07] Abé, H., & I. Bartsch. 2007. Historical biogeography of the halacarid mite genus Isobactrus (Prostigmata, Halacaridae). 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. 119–126. Instituto de Biología and Faculdad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Sociedad Latinoamericana de Acarología: México.

[B86] Bartsch, I. 1986. Acari: Halacaridae. In: Botosaneanu, L. (ed.) Stygofauna Mundi: A Faunistic, Distributional, and Ecological Synthesis of the World Fauna inhabiting Subterranean Waters (including the Marine Interstitial) pp. 638–642. E. J. Brill/Dr W. Backhuys: Leiden.

[B05] Bartsch, I. 2005. Halacaridae from the depths of western Antarctica (Arachnida, Acari). Senckenbergiana Biologica 85 (1): 31–41.

[B07] Bartsch, I. 2007. Rhombognathus from the Caribbean area, with the description of a new species (Arachnida, Acari, Halacaridae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 87 (1): 17–22.

[BK91] Biesiadka, E., & W. Kowalik. 1991. Water mites (Hydracarina) as indicators of trophy and pollution in lakes. 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. 475–481. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

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

[K09] Krantz, G. W. 2009. Habits and habitats. In: Krantz, G. W., & D. E. Walter (eds) A Manual of Acarology 3rd ed. pp. 64–82. Texas Tech University Press.

[L90] Luxton, M. 1990. The marine littoral mites of the New Zealand region. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 20 (4): 367–418.

[M62] Monniot, F. 1962. Recherches sur les graviers a Amphioxus de la région de Banyuls-sur-Mer. Vie et Milieu 13: 231–322.

[N47] Newell, I. M. 1947. A systematic and ecological study of the Halacaridae of eastern North America. Bulletin of the Bingham Oceanographic Collection 10 (3): 1–232.

[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.

[SL71] Spain, A. V., & M. Luxton. 1971. Catalog and bibliography of the Acari of the New Zealand subregion. Pacific Insects Monograph 25: 179–226.

[S-TK22] Szudarek-Trepto, N., A. Kaźmierski, A. Skoracka, M. Lewandowski & J. Dabert. 2022. Molecular phylogeny supports the monophyly of the mite supercohort Eupodides (Acariformes: Trombidiformes) and greatly coincides with traditional morphological definition of the taxon. Annales Zoologici 72 (4): 757–786.

[T96] Trouessart, E. 1896. Resultats scientifiques de la campagne du “Caudan” dans le Golfe de Gascogne: Halacariens. Annales de l’Universite de Lyon 26: 325–353, pls 9–11.

[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).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *