Flat Mites of the World


Key characters

  • c2 present; d2, e2 absent (Figs. 1, 2)
  • f2 present or absent; when present inserted in lateral position (as in Brevipalpus) (Figs. 1, 2)
  • h2 not elongate (Figs. 1, 2, 3)
  • anterior margin of prodorsum with broad flat projection extending over coxae I-II and gnathosoma (similar to Brevipalpus) (Figs. 4, 5); can be reduced in some species (Fig. 6)
  • ventral plate distinct, surrounded by characteristic cuticle pattern (Figs. 7, 8)
  • genital and anal plates well developed (Fig. 9)
  • 2 pairs ps setae
  • 4 segmented palp (rarely 3 segments)
  • solenidia on tarsus I-II long, slender (Fig. 10)
  • often with a characteristic colicular pattern in dorsal cuticle (Figs. 1, 2, 3); though dorsal cuticle can be mostly smooth or weakly wrinkled (Fig. 11)

Similar taxa

Brevipalpus: dorsal setae c2 absent; solenidia on tarsi I-II short and rod-like (Fig. 10) (except a few species with long solenidia on tarsi I-II, e.g. B. recki)

Number of species

over 60


Pritchard and Baker


Most species are recorded from Western Palearctic region (30 spp.) and Oriental region (17 spp.).

Countries include: Crete, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Israel, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine.


Several families including most commonly Rosaceae, followed by Oleaceae, Pinaceae.


most species are red when alive


Fig. 1. Cenopalpus pulcher female dorsum.


Fig. 2. Cenopalpus spinosus female dorsum.


Fig. 3. Cenopalpus pulcher female dorsum (image: Eric Erbe, USDA).


Fig. 4. Cenopalpus lanceolatisetae female prodorsum, indicating anterior broad flat projection.


Fig. 5. Cenopalpus spinosus female prodorsal projection (indicated by arrows).


Fig. 6. Cenopalpus nr C. lineola female prodorsum, indicating reduced anterior projection.


Fig. 7. Cenopalpus pulcher female venter - note characterisitc cuticle surrounding ventral plate.


Fig. 8. Cenopalpus pulcher female venter - note characterisitc cuticle surrounding ventral plate.


Fig. 9. Cenopalpus pulcher female posterior venter, indicating well developed plates.


Fig. 10. Solenidion on tarsus I-II of Brevipalpus (short, rod-like) and Cenopalpus (long, slender) (indicated by arrows).


Fig. 11. Cenopalpus nr C. lineola female dorsum, with mostly smooth dorsal cuticle.