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Taxonomic Position

Cohort Uropodina

    Subcohort Uropodiae

Superfamily Uropodoidea Kramer

Family Uropodidae Kramer (s.l.)

Including the families Nenteriidae Hirschmann, Trematuridae Berlese, Macrodinychidae Hirschmann, Trigonuropodidae Hirschmann, Urodinychidae Berlese, Dinychidae Berlese, Circocyllibamidae Sellnick, Deraiophoridae Trägårdh, Discourellidae Baker & Wharton

Diagnostic characters:

Similar taxa.  Well armored, tortoise-like mites with uropodine chelicerae are likely to be Uropodoidea.

Key to adult females of common Uropodoidea

1. Chelicerae with large, sclerotized node at base of movable digit - 3

-   Chelicerae without large, sclerotized node - 2

2. Genital opening intercoxal - Uropodidae

-   Genital opening postcoxal - Metagynuridae, Metagynella

3. Fixed digit simple, lobed or acuminate distally, not ending in a flower-like process - 4

-   Fixed digit ending in a flower-like process - Uroactiniidae, Uroactinia

4. Pilus dentilis absent or modified into a membranous process; internal malae linear - 6

-   Pilus dentilis bifurcate; internal malae densely plumose, moustache-like - Trachyuropodidae (5)

5. Body ornamented with large pits and/ or tubercles - Trachyuropodidae, Trachyuropoda

-   Body flattened, oval, smooth to punctate, without large pits or tubercles - Trachyuropodidae, Oplitis

6. Fixed digit produced as strong lobe or acuminate structure; genu I with pair of ventral setae - 9

-   Chelicerae chelate-dentate, without distal process; genu I without ventral setae - Trematuridae (7)

7. Peritremes present in adults (and deutonymphs) - 8

-   Peritremes absent in adults (present in deutonymphs) - Trematuridae, Trematura

8. Tectum denticulate, tapering; corniculi divided; often with 1-2 pairs of elongate posterior setae - Trematuridae, Trichouropoda

-   Tectum with distally branched process; corniculi simple; without elongate distal setae - Trematuridae, Nenteria

9. Pedofossae usually present; internal malae simple or denticulate - 10

-   Pedofossae absent; internal malae bifurcate - Dinychidae, Dinychus

10. Separate pygidial plate bearing setae present - Urodiaspis

-   Pygidial region fused to dorsal shield, sometimes produced as tooth-like process - Uroobovella (11)

11. Metapodal lines and anterior genital shield process absent - Uroobovella (Uroobovella)

-   Metapodal lines present, anterior genital shield process present or absent  - Uroobovella (Fuscouropoda)

Ecology.  Uropodoids occur in most litter types and are especially common in compost and in mesic to wet forests.  Some species infest worm beds, but probably have little effect on the worms.  The few species that have been studied are primarily predatory (especially on maggots and nematodes), although some are known to feed on fungi as well.  Insects, myriapods, and small lizards are often covered with the phoretic deutonymphs of these mites, each attached by a small anal pedicle.


Ainscough, BD.  1981.  Uropodine studies. I. Suprageneric classification in the cohort Uropodina Kramer, 1882 (Acari: Mesostigmata).  International Journal of Acarology 7: 47-56.

Athias, F. 1976. Observations morphologiques sur Polyaspis patavinus Berlese 1881 (Acariens : Uropodides). 2. Morphologie et chètotaxie des appendices au cours du dèveloppement postembryonnaire. Acarologia 18: 194-216.

Athias-Binche, F. and Bloszyk, J. 1988. Australian Uropodina (Acari : Anactinotrichida). I. Australocilliba gen. n. (Cillibidae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 27: 1-8.

Athias-Binch, F. & Evans, GO.  1981.  Observations on the genus Protodinychus Evans, 1957 (Acari: Mesostigmata) with descriptions of the male and phoretic deuteronymph.  Proc. R. Ir. Acad. 81b: 25-36.

Bloszyk, J. and Halliday, R. B. 1995. A new species of Dinychus Kramer from Tasmania (Acarina: Dinychidae). Journal of the Australian Entomological Society 34: 187-191.

Evans EO and Till WM.  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 (2): 145-270.

Gilyarov MS & Bregatova NG (eds).  1977.  Handbook for the Identification of Soil-inhabiting Mites, Mesostigmata.  Zoological Institute of the Academy of Sciences: Petrograd [In Russian]

Johnson, DE.  1961.  A review of the lower uropodid mites (former Thinozerconoidea, Protodinychoidea and Trachytoidea) with notes on the classification of the Uropodina (Acarina).  Acarologia 3: 522-545.

Karg W.  1989.  Acari (Acarina), Milben Unterordnung Parasitiformes (Anactinotrichaeta) Uropodina Kramer, Schildkrötenmilben.  Die Tierwelt Deutschlands 67: 1-203.

Krantz, GW & Ainscough, B.  1990.  Mesostigmata.  pp. 583-665, in DL Dindal (ed) Soil Biology Guide.  John Wiley & Sons: Brisbane.

Wisniewski, J. and W. Hirschmann  1993.  Katalog der Ganggattungen, Untergattungen, Gruppen   und Arten die Uropodiden der Erde.  Gangsyst. Parasitiformes, Schriften. für vergleich.  Milbenkunde Folge 40: 466pp.  Hirschmann Verlag, Nürnberg.

Womersley H. 1959. A new species of Urodiscella (Acarina, Uropodidae) from Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 13: 349-353.