Lauritzenia (Incabates)

 Dorsal view of Lauritzenia major, from Balogh & Balogh (1992 vol. 2).

Belongs within: Haplozetidae.

The subgenus Incabates of the genus Lauritzenia is a tropical and subtropical group of oribatid mites. They are distinguished from other subgenera in Lauritzenia by their tridactyle legs and terminally dilated or capitate sensillus.

The mites of the Incas
Published 29 January 2013
Diagnostic views of Haplozetes similis, from Gil & Subías (1993) as ‘Lauritzenia (Incabates) sinuatus‘.

The oribatid mite genus Incabates was first established by Marie Hammer in 1961 for a species from Peru (not surprisingly, with that name). Since then, species have been assigned to Incabates from tropical and subtropical regions almost throughout the world (though not, as yet, from the Ethiopian bioregion—Subías 2004). Incabates belongs to the Haplozetidae, an oribatid family distinguished by their possession of well-developed pteromorphs that are often, though not always, mobile, and jointed chelate-dentate chelicerae (Norton & Behan-Pelletier 2009). Incabates has been distinguished from other haplozetid genera by having a series of dorsal glandular openings on the body developed as tubular saccules, ten pairs of setae on the notogaster (the dorsum of the main body), four pairs of setae around the genital opening, and three claws at the end of each leg (Gil & Subías 1993; Weigmann & Monson 2004). The presence of three claws rather than one claw on each leg appears to be correlated with an arboreal lifestyle in oribatids (Karasawa & Hijii 2008), and Incabates species do appear to be mostly associated with forest habitats.

There is a lot of taxonomic instability within (and indeed, around) the Haplozetidae, and it remains uncertain at this point whether Incabates should be recognised as a distinct taxon. Genera of Haplozetidae have often been distinguished by combinations of characters, often simply numerical (such as numbers of setae) and it may be debatable to what extent these characters reflect actual relationships. The checklist of the world oribatid fauna by Subías (2004) lists Incabates as a subgenus of Lauritzenia. Gil & Subías (1993) separated Lauritzenia (including Incabates) from the related genus Haplozetes by the number of genital setae (four pairs in Lauritzenia vs five in Haplozetes) and then divided each of these genera into subgenera on the basis of claw number (tridactyl Incabates vs monodactyl Lauritzenia subgenus Lauritzenia). However, Weigmann (2010) argued that these characters might be too plastic to warrant generic distinction, and supported treating all as a single undivided genus Haplozetes until the relationships within the group were better established. As yet, that’s something we’re still waiting on.

Systematics of Lauritzenia (Incabates)

Characters (from Balogh & Balogh 1992): Prodorsum with lamellae present, translamella absent; sensillus with short and dilated or capitate head. Notogaster with ten pairs of setae; four pairs of sacculi; pteromorphae movable. Four pairs of genital setae; one pair of aggenital setae; two pairs of anal setae; three pairs of adanal setae; fissures iad adanal. Legs tridactyle.

<==Lauritzenia (Incabates Hammer 1961) [incl. Canaribates Pérez-Íñigo & Peña 1994]S04
    |--L. (*I.) nuda (Hammer 1961) [=*Incabates nudus]S04
    |--L. (I.) angusta (Hammer 1971) [=Incabates angustus; incl. I. medius Hammer 1971]S04
    |--L. (I.) aokii (Choi 1985) [=Incabates aokii]S04
    |--L. (I.) atlantica Pérez-Íñigo & Peña 1996S04
    |--L. (I.) barbata Choi & Kim 2002S04
    |--L. (I.) canariensis Pérez-Íñigo & Peña 1997S04
    |--L. (I.) depilis Pérez-Íñigo & Peña 1996S04
    |--L. (I.) elegans (Kunst 1977) [=Haplozetes elegans]S04
    |--L. (I.) elongata (Lee & Shepherd 1990) [=Magnobates elongatus]S04
    |--L. (I.) globula (Lee & Shepherd 1990) [=Magnobates globulus]S04
    |--L. (I.) hispanica Morell 1991S04
    |--‘Incabates’ macronudus Lee 1993CH98
    |--L. (I.) major (Aoki 1970) [=Incabates major]S04
    |--L. (I.) mucronata (Lee 1993) [=Incabates mucronatus]S04
    |--L. (I.) pallida (Mihelčič 1956) [=Peloribates pallidus; incl. Protoribates meridionalis Mihelčič 1965]S04
    |--L. (I.) punctata (Lee 1993)S04 [=Incabates punctatusCH98, Indoribates punctatusS04]
    |--L. (I.) similis Subías & Gil-Martín 1995S04
    |--L. (I.) sinuata (Pérez-Íñigo 1990) [=Haplozetes sinuatus]S04
    `--L. (I.) tenuifusus (Berlese 1916) (see below for synonymy)S04

Lauritzenia (Incabates) tenuifusus (Berlese 1916) [=Protoribates (Scheloribates) tenuifusus; incl. Canaribates chamobatoides Pérez-Íñigo & Peña 1994]S04

*Type species of generic name indicated


Balogh, J., & P. Balogh. 1992. The Oribatid Mites Genera of the World vol. 1. Hungarian Natural History Museum: Budapest.

[CH98] Colloff, M. J., & R. B. Halliday. 1998. Oribatid Mites: A catalogue of Australian genera and species. CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.

Gil, J., & L. S. Subías. 1993. La familia Haplozetidae Grandjean, 1936 (Acari, Oribatida) en la Península Ibérica. Mediterránea Ser. Biol. 14: 23–30.

Karasawa, S., & N. Hijii. 2008. Vertical stratification of oribatid (Acari: Oribatida) communities in relation to their morphological and life-history traits and tree structures in a subtropical forest in Japan. Ecological Research 23 (1): 57–69.

Norton, R. A., & V. M. Behan-Pelletier. 2009. Suborder Oribatida. In: Krantz, G. W., & D. E. Walter (eds) A Manual of Acarology 3rd ed. pp. 430–564. Texas Tech University Press.

[S04] Subías, L. S. 2004. Listado sistemático, sinonímico y biogeográfico de los ácaros oribátidos (Acariformes, Oribatida) del mundo (1758–2002). Graellsia 60 (número extraordinario): 3–305.

Weigmann, G. 2010. Oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) from the coastal region of Portugal. IV. The genera Coronoquadroppia, Scheloribates, Haplozetes and Pilobates. Soil Organisms 82 (3): 383–406.

Weigmann, G., & F. D. Monson. 2004. A new genus and species of Haplozetidae (Arachnida: Acari) from Great Britain with a key to the European genera. Journal of Natural History 38 (11): 1415–1420.

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