Aphelacarus acarinus

van der Hammen, L., 1959, Berlese's Primitive Oribatid Mites, Zoologische Verhandelingen 40, pp. 1-93: 9-10

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Aphelacarus acarinus


Aphelacarus acarinus  (Berlese, 1910)

Parypochthonius acarinus  Berlese, 1910, p. 219, pl. 19 fig. 42.

Parhypochthonius acarinus  , Lombardini, 1936, p. 46.

Aphelacarus acarinus  , Grandjean, 1932a, p. 412, figs. 1-4; 1954a, p. 226, figs. n-21.

In the Berlese Collection 12 slides are present that bear the label Parhypochthonius acarinus  . On 7 of these labels the word "tipico" occurs 1); this concerns the slides nos. 80/11, 12, 17, 21, 22, 23, and 83/4, containing specimens from Palermo, Sicily; they correspond with the original description. Another slide from Palermo (no. 142/24), which is not designated as type, is also identical with P. acarinus  .

1) As a rule I have not selected a holotype out of type-material, because nothing can be said about the tenability of the slides.

On the contrary, the slides nos. 140/27, 157/28, 160/41, 42 with specimens from Florence, Sardinia, and Italian Somaliland respectively (never mentioned in literature), which Berlese identified with P. acarinus  , appear to belong to a different species, viz. Ctenacarus araneola  (Grandjean, 1932a), a representative of the related subfamily Ctenacarinae  . Up to now Ctenacarus araneola  was known from North Africa and South America only; the species is recorded here for the first time from Europe.

A. acarinus  is one of the very primitive Oribated mites that now form part of the superfamily Palaeacaroidea  . Berlese contributed the species to Parhypochthonius  (in 1910 he erroneously wrote Parypochthonius  ), a genus that shows also primitive characters, but of which the systematic position is uncertain.

Willmann (1931, p. 98) recorded that Sellnick had found the species in an ants' nest in East Prussia. Grandjean (1932a, 1954a) published detailed descriptions and figures of the species, which fit in with Berlese's specimens. The sensillus of the types appears to be slightly more slender than in Grandjean's figures. Berlese described the notogastral hairs as black; these are, however, brown.