Poecilochirus necrophori, from

Belongs within: Gamasina.
Contains: Pergamasus, Parasitus, Eugamasus.

The Parasitidae are a group of free-living predatory mites (not, despite their name, parasites) that are primarily found in ground-level substrates where they feed on microarthropods and nematodes. Members of the Parasitidae are divided between the Pergamasinae, which are mostly found in stable soil, humus and moss habitats, and the Parasitinae, which are often found in more temporary debris (Lindquist et al. 2009). Females of Pergamasinae have the dorsum covered by a single holodorsal shield whereas Parasitinae have separate podonotal and opisthonotal shields, or a single but deeply incised schizodorsal shield. In the pergamasine genus Holoparasitus, the holodorsal shield is further fused posteriorly with the opisthogastric shield (Evans & Till 1979). Species of Holoparasitus are found in damp habitats such as marshes or among beach debris (Lindquist et al. 2009).

Deutonymphs of Parasitinae are commonly phoretic on insects with misinterpretation of this habit resulting in the family’s misleading name. Deutonymphs of Pergamasinae are not known to be phoretic (Lindquist et al. 2009). Species of the genus Parasitellus are specifically associated with Bombus bumble bees. Poecilochirus are found on beetles of the families Silphidae and Carabidae (Evans & Till 1979).

Characters (from Lindquist et al. 2009): Adult dorsal shield entire or divided or with a pair of lateral incisions in female, entire with at most a transverse line of fusion of two shields in male. Female sternal shield with three pairs of setae; epigynal shield triangular, flanked by large discrete metasternal shields, and abutting or rarely coalescing with a ventrianal shield that is variously fused with podal, peritrematic or, more rarely, dorsal shield elements; presternal platelets frequently present. Tibia I typically with four ventral setae, six dorsal setae and two anterolateral setae (2 3/2, 3/2 2); tibia III with eight or nine setae (2 1/1, 2/1 1(2)); chaetotaxy of genu IV 2 2/1, 3/1 1. Palptarsal apotele three-timed. Female tocospermous. Male with genital aperture at anterior margin of holoventral or sternitigenital shield, typically with highly developed spurs and apophyses on legs II; chelicerae with sperm-holding structure (spermatotreme) that is coalesced distally with movable digit. Larva without pygidial shield; protonymphal pygidial shield reduced laterally, generally with four or five pairs of setae (without setae S4–S5), of shield sometimes absent; dorsal shield of deutonymph divided.

<==Parasitidae [Eugamasidae, Gamasidae, Neotocospermata, Parasitiae, Parasitides, Parasitina, Parasitoidea, Saprogamasidae]
    |    |--PergamasusD91
    |    |--Pergamasellus Evans 1957ET79
    |    |    `--*P. delicatus Evans 1957ET79
    |    `--Holoparasitus Oudemans 1936ET79 [incl. Ologamasus Berlese 1906 non Berlese 1888FH93]
    |         |--*H. calcaratus (Koch 1839)ET79 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--H. berlesei Oudemans 1936S61
    |         |--H. excipuliger (Berlese 1903)FH93 (see below for synonymy)
    |         |--H. inornatus (Berlese 1906)S61 [=Gamasus (Ologamasus) inoratusS22]
    |         |--H. pollicipatus (Berlese 1903)S61 (see below for synonymy)
    |         `--H. stramenti Karg 1971D91
         |--Cornigamasus Evans & Till 1979ET79
         |    `--*C. lunaris (Berlese 1882)ET79 (see below for synonymy)
         |--Porrhostaspis Müller 1859ET79, FH93 [=Porrhostapsis (l. c.)FH93; incl. Eteocarpais Athias-Henriot 1978FH93]
         |    `--*P. lunulata Müller 1859ET79, FH93
         |--Parasitellus Willmann 1939ET79
         |    |--P. fucorum (DeGeer 1778)FH93 (see below for synonymy)
         |    `--P. talparum (Oudemans 1913) [=Parasitus talparum; incl. Parasitus bombophilus Vitzthum 1930]FH93
         |--Trachygamasus Berlese 1904 [incl. Saprogamasus Willm. 1949, Willmanniella Goetz 1969]ET79
         |    |--*T. pusillus (Berlese 1892) [=Gamasus pusillus]ET79
         |    `--T. ambulacralisET79
         |--Gamasodes Oudemans 1939ET79
         |    |--G. spiniger (Traegardh 1910)ET79 (see below for synonymy)
         |    |--G. bispinosus halbert 1915FH93
         |    `--G. queenslandicusLKW09
         |--Vulgarogamasus Tichomirov 1969ET79
         |    |--*V. burchanensis (Oudemans 1903) [=Parasitus burchanensis]ET79
         |    |--V. bifurcus (Ewing 1913) [=Gamasus bifurcus]FH93
         |    |--V. kraepeliniL91
         |    `--V. pollinerus El-Banhawy & Nasr 1984FH93
         `--Poecilochirus Canestrini & Canestrini 1882ET79 [incl. Gamasoides Berlese 1904FH93; Poecilochiridae]
              |--*P. carabi Canestrini & Canestrini 1882ET79 [incl. Gamasodes eurasiaticus Trägårdh 1937FH93]
              |--P. austrioasiaticusR96
              |--P. monospinosus Wise, Hennessey & Axtell 1988FH93
              |--P. necrophori Vitzthum 1931LKW09, FH93
              |--P. pilosulus (Banks 1904) [=Laelaps pilosula]FH93
              `--P. subterraneus (Müller 1860) [=Porrhostaspis subterranea]FH93
Parasitidae incertae sedis:
  Euparasitus similisDW10
  Psilogamasus Athias-Henriot 1969FH93
    `--P. hurlbutti Athias-Henriot 1969FH93
  Cycetogamasus Athias-Henriot 1980FH93
    |--C. californicus (Banks 1904) [=Gamasus californicus]FH93
    |--C. diviortus (Athias-Henriot 1967) [=Pergamasus diviortus]FH93
    `--C. planeticus Hennessey & Farrier 1989FH93
  Neogamasus Tichomirov 1969FH93
    |--N. apodius Hennessey & Farrier 1989FH93
    |--N. bifiditectus Hennessey & Farrier 1989FH93
    |--N. cervicornis (Van Daele 1975) [=Parasitus cervicornis; incl. N. franzi Athias-Henriot 1977]FH93
    `--N. unicornutus (Ewing 1909) [=Gamasus unicornutus; incl. Parasitus islandicus Sellnick 1940]FH93
  Paracarpais Athias-Henriot 1978FH93
    `--P. (Gigacarpais) exilis (Banks 1900)FH93 [=Holostaspis exilisFH93, Macrocheles exilisT05]
  Phityogamasus Juvara-Balş & Athias-Henriot 1972H98
    `--P. primitivus (Oudemans 1904)H98 (see below for synonymy)
  Phorytocarpais Athias-Henriot 1979H98
    |--P. americanus (Berlese 1906) [=Gamasus americanus, Parasitus americanus]H98
    |--P. distinctus (Berlese 1903) [=Gamasus distinctus]FH93
    |--P. fimetorum (Berlese 1903)H98 (see below for synonymy)
    `--P. hyalinus (Willmann 1949) [=Eugamasus hyalinus]FH93
  Rhabdocarpais Athias-Henriot 1981H98
    |--R. consanguineus (Oudemans & Voigts in Voigts & Oudemans 1904)FH93 (see below for synonymy)
    `--R. cunicularis (Womersley 1956) [=Eugamasus cunicularis, Parasitus cunicularis]H98
  Schizostethus Athias-Henriot 1982FH93
    |--S. lyriformis (McGraw & Farrier 1969) [=Eugamasus lyriformis]FH93
    `--S. vicarius Athias-Henriot 1982FH93
  Zelogamasus Hennessey & Farrier 1989FH93
    `--Z. oligochaetus Hennessey & Farrier 1989FH93
  Oocarpais Berlese 1916B63
    `--*O. donisthorpei Berlese 1916B16
  Oxynamba liliputana Karsch 1881M98

*Cornigamasus lunaris (Berlese 1882)ET79 [=Gamasus coleoptratorum var. lunarisFH93, Parasitus lunarisS61; incl. P. spinipediformis Trägårdh 1906FH93]

Gamasodes spiniger (Traegardh 1910)ET79 [=Eugamasus spinigerET79; incl. *Gamasodes spiniger Oudemans 1936 non Eugamasus spiniger Traegardh 1910ET79, Gamasus spinipes Koch 1841 non Say 1821S61]

*Holoparasitus calcaratus (Koch 1839)ET79 [=Gamasus calcaratusET79, G. (Ologamasus) calcaratusS22; incl. H. calcaratus var. siculus (Berlese 1906)S61]

Holoparasitus excipuliger (Berlese 1903)FH93 [=Gamasus (Hologamasus) pollicipatus var. excipuligerFH93, Holop. pollicipatus var. expuligerS61]

Holoparasitus pollicipatus (Berlese 1903)S61 [=Gamasus (Ologamasus) pollicipatusS22; incl. H. pollicipatus var. basileus Schweizer 1961S61, H. pollicipatus var. calixus Schweizer 1961S61, H. pollicipatus var. fibularius Schweizer 1961S61, H. pollicipatus var. helveticus Schweizer 1961S61, Gamasus (Ologamasus) pollicipatus var. pseudoperforatusS22]

Parasitellus fucorum (DeGeer 1778)FH93 [=Acarus fucorumFH93, Parasitus fucorumS61; incl. Parasitus bomborum Oudemans 1902FH93, Acarus coleoptratorum Fabricius 1780 non Linnaeus 1758FH93, Eugamasus ferox Traegardh 1910ET79, *Parasitellus feroxET79]

Phityogamasus primitivus (Oudemans 1904)H98 [=Parasitus primitivusH98, Gamasus (Pergamasus) primitivusV25; incl. G. (P.) effeminatus Berlese 1904V25]

Phorytocarpais fimetorum (Berlese 1903)H98 [=Gamasus fimetorumH98, Parasitus fimetorumH98; incl. Pa. affinis Oudemans 1904FH93, Ggmasus (l. c.) posticatus Banks 1910FH93]

Rhabdocarpais consanguineus (Oudemans & Voigts in Voigts & Oudemans 1904)FH93 [=Parasitus consanguineusFH93, Gamasus consanguineusS22; incl. G. inarmatus Ewing 1920FH93]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B16] Berlese, A. 1916. Centuria terza di Acari nuovi. Redia 12: 289–338.

[B63] Bhattacharyya, S. K. 1963. A revision of the British mites of the genus Pergamasus Berlese (Acari: Mesostigmata). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History): Zoology 11 (2): 133–241.

[DW10] Dabert, M., W. Witalinski, A. Kazmierski, Z. Olszanowski & J. Dabert. 2010. Molecular phylogeny of acariform mites (Acari, Arachnida): strong conflict between phylogenetic signal and long-branch attraction artifacts. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56 (1): 222–241.

[D91] Dielmann, M. 1991. Computer in acarine taxonomy: a method for systematical analysis of the genus Pergamasus (Acari: Mesostigmata). 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. 239–248. SPB Academic Publishing: The Hague.

[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.

[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.

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

[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.

[L91] Lundqvist, L. 1991. Rearing deutonymphs of Iphidosoma fimetarium (J. Müller), a mesostigmatic mite associated with carabid beetles. In: Schuster, R., & P. W. Murphy (eds) The Acari: Reproduction, development and life-history strategies pp. 447–452. Chapman & Hall: London.

[M98] Michael, A. D. 1898. Oribatidae. In: H. Lohmann (ed.) Das Tierreich. Eine Zusammenstellung und Kennzeichnung der rezenten Tierformen vol. 3. Acarina pp. 1–93. R. Friedländer und Sohn: Berlin.

[R96] Ruf, A. 1996. Life-history patterns in soil-inhabiting mesostigmatid mites (Dermanyssina, Parasitina). In: Mitchell, R., D. J. Horn, G. R. Needham & W. C. Welbourn (eds) Acarology IX vol. 1. Proceedings pp. 621–628. Ohio Biological Survey: Columbus (Ohio).

[S22] Schweizer, J. 1922. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der terrestrischen Milbenfauna der Schweiz. Verhandl. Naturf. Ges. Basel 33: 23–112, 4 pls.

[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.

[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.

[V25] Vitzthum, H. 1925. Fauna sumatrensis. (Beitrag no. 5). Acarinae. Supplementa Entomologica 11: 1–79.

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