van der Hammen, L., 1959, Berlese's Primitive Oribatid Mites, Zoologische Verhandelingen 40, pp. 1-93: 33-34

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Phthiracaroidea  Grandjean, 1954, p. 430.

The species classified here with the Phthiracaroidea  have been regarded as members of a genus ( Hoplophora  C. L. Koch), a subfamily ( Hoplophorinae  , Phthiracarinae  ), or a family ( Ploplophoridae  , Hoplodermatidae  , Phthiracaridae  ). Grandjean (1954) raised the family Phthiracaridae  (this name has priority) to superfamily rank, and subdivicled the group in three families: Oribotritiidae  , Pseudotritiidae  and Phthiracaridae  ; the name Pseudotritiidae  is replaced here by Euphthiracaridae  .

The relationship of the Phthiracaroidea  to other ptychoid groups ( Protoplophoridae  , Mesoplophoridae  ) is uncertain.

The present superfamily is an extremely difficult group. The representatives are poor in characters, and the existing descriptions are for the greater part insufficient. Berlese mentioned no less than 38 species and varieties in his papers, among which he described 31 as new. His descriptions are incomplete, whilst the type-material is often not suited for study, and sometimes even heterogeneous. Several times Berlese changed his opinion on the conception of the genera, without giving any explication. For these reasons it is not easy to deal with his Phthiracaroid mites.

In the following an attempt is, however, made to classify his species and to give some supplementary details.


1. The ventral surface of the opisthosoma between the borders of the notogaster (the ano-genital region) is long and narrow...........2

- The ano-genital region is rather broad........ Phthiracaridae 

2. Genital and anal plates are separated from aggenital and adanal plates. Palp with 5 Segments................ Oribotritiidae 

- Genital and aggenital plates fused; anal and adanal plates fused in the posterior part only. Palp with 3 Segments ... ....... Euphthiracaridae