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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Protostomia
Cladus: Ecdysozoa
Cladus: Panarthropoda
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Classis: Arachnida
Subclassis: Acari
Superordo: Acariformes
Ordo: Trombidiformes
Subordo: Prostigmata
Cohort: Eleutherengona
Sectio: Heterostigmata

Familia: Acarophenacidae
Genera (7): AcarophenaxAdactylidium – Aethiophenax – ParacarophenaxParadactylidiumProtophenax
+ 2

Acarophenacidae Cross, 1965

Additional references

Katlav, A., Hajiqanbar, H. & Talebi, A.A. 2015a: First record of the genus Aethiophenax (Acari: Acarophenacidae) from Asia, redefinition of the genus and description of a new species. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 18(3): 389–395. DOI: 10.1016/j.aspen.2015.03.011. Reference page.


Magowski, W. (coordinator): Acarophenacidae Species Listing in Joel Hallan's Biology Catalog

Acarophenacidae is a family of mites in the order Trombidiformes that are egg parasitoids and ectoparasites of beetles or thrips.[1] It contains eight genera and around 40 species.[2]

Acarophenacidae are <200 μm in length and elongate to oval in shape. Distinguishing features are the gnathosoma (mouthparts) partially/completely fused into the propodosoma, indistinct palps and the first leg pair being thickest.[1]
Life cycle

Acarophenacidae have a reduced life cycle, in which the larvae complete their development within their mother; the entire life cycle can take only 4–5 days.[1]

A mated female rides on an adult insect to disperse to new areas. In genus Adactylidium, she also feeds on the insect's body fluids.
When the insect begins laying eggs, the female drops off to feed on the eggs. Her abdomen swells up greatly (physogastrism).
Offspring develop within the mother.
Normally one male develops per mother. He develops slightly more quickly than his sisters and inseminates them while still inside the mother's body.
Females leave the mother's body and seek hosts, beginning the cycle again.

Biological control

Some Acarophenacidae have been suggested as biological control agents as they reduce populations of their hosts. These include Acarophenax mahunkai for the lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus),[3] and Acarophenax lacunatus for red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) and lined flat bark beetle (Cryptolestes ferrugineus).[4]

Uri Gerson, Robert L. Smiley & Ronald Ochoa (2008). "Acarophenacidae". Mites (Acari) for Pest Control. John Wiley and Sons. pp. 74–77. doi:10.1002/9780470750995.ch5. ISBN 9781405150972.
Khaustov, Alexander A.; Vorontsov, Dmitry D.; Perkovsky, Evgeny E.; Lindquist, Evert E. (2021-01-06). "Review of fossil heterostigmatic mites (Acari: Heterostigmata) from late Eocene Rovno Amber. I. Families Tarsocheylidae, Dolichocybidae and Acarophenacidae". Systematic and Applied Acarology. 26 (1): 33–61. doi:10.11158/saa.26.1.3. ISSN 1362-1971.
Steinkraus, Donald C.; Cross, Earle A. (1993-05-01). "Description and Life History of Acarophenax mahunkai, n. sp. (Acari, Tarsonemina: Acarophenacidae), an Egg Parasite of the Lesser Mealworm (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)". Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 86 (3): 239–249. doi:10.1093/aesa/86.3.239. ISSN 0013-8746.
De Oliveira, Carlos R. F.; Faroni, Lêda R. A.; Guedes, Raul N. C.; Gonçalves, José R.; Garcia, Flávia M. (2007). "[Biology of Acarophenax lacunatus (Cross & Krantz) (Prostigmata: Acarophenacidae) on Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens) (Coleoptera: Cucujidae)]". Neotropical Entomology. 36 (3): 459–464. doi:10.1590/s1519-566x2007000300015. ISSN 1519-566X. PMID 17710330.


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