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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
Infraordines (4): AnystinaEleutherengonaEupodinaLabidostommatina


Prostigmata Kramer, 1877

Zhang, Z.-Q. et al. 2011. Order Trombidiformes Reuter, 1909. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (ed.) 2011: Animal biodiversity: an outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148: 129–138. ISBN 978-1-86977-849-1 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-86977-850-7 (online edition). PDF.
Beron, P. 2008. Acarorum catalogus I. Acariformes: Calyptostomatoidea (Calyptostomatidae), Erythraeoidea (Smarididae, Erythraeidae). Pensoft Publishers and the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Otto, J.C. & Wilson, K.J. 2001. Assessment of the usefulness of ribosomal 18S and mitochondrial COI sequences in Prostigmata phylogeny. Pp. 100–109 in Halliday, R.B., Walter, D.E., Proctor, H.C., Norton, R.A. & Colloff, M.J. (eds.) Acarology: proceedings of the 10th International Congress. CSIRO publishing, Melbourne, Australia.
Qin, T.-K. & Henderson, R.C. 2001. Taxonomy of New Zealand Prostigmata: past, present, and future. Pp. 35–39 in Halliday, R.B., Walter, D.E., Proctor, H.C., Norton, R.A. & Colloff, M.J. (eds.) Acarology: proceedings of the 10th International Congress. CSIRO publishing, Melbourne, Australia.
Ripka, G., Laniecka, I., Kaźmierski, A. 2013. On the arboreal acarofauna of Hungary: some new and rare species of prostigmatic mites (Acari: Prostigmata: Tydeidae, Iolinidae and Stigmaeidae). Zootaxa 3702(1): 1–50. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3702.1.1 Reference page.
Russell, D. & Franke, K. 2002. Actinedida Nr. 1. ACARI Bibliographia Acarologica 2 (3): 1–38.
Russell, D. & Franke, K. 2003. Actinedida Nr. 2. ACARI Bibliographia Acarologica 3 (3): 3–31.
Russell, D. & Franke, K. 2004. Actinedida Nr. 3. ACARI Bibliographia Acarologica 4 (3): 3–27.
Russell, D. & Franke, K. 2005. Actinedida Nr. 4. ACARI Bibliographia Acarologica 5 (3): 1–22.
Russell, D. & Franke, K. 2006. Actinedida Nr. 5. ACARI Bibliographia Acarologica 6 (3): 1–30.
Russell, D. & Franke, K. 2007. Actinedida Nr. 6. ACARI Bibliographia Acarologica 7 (3): 1–30.
Russell, D. & Franke, K. 2008. Actinedida Nr. 7. ACARI Bibliographia Acarologica 8 (3): 1–22.


Hallan, J. 2004. Synopsis of the described Actinedida of the world.

Vernacular names

العربية: أماميات الفوهة
مصرى: اماميات الفوهه
čeština: Sametkovci
English: Prostigs, Prostigmatans
فارسی: پیش‌روزنان
magyar: Elöllégnyílásos atkák
日本語: ケダニ亜目, ケダニ目
中文: 前气门亚目
中文(中国大陆): 前气门亚目
中文(臺灣): 前氣門亞目

The Prostigmata is a suborder of mites belonging to the order Trombidiformes, which contains the "sucking" members of the "true mites" (Acariformes).

Many species are notorious pests on plants. Well-known examples of prostigmatan plant parasites are species of the gall mites (Eriophyidae, e.g. the redberry mite Acalitus essigi), Tarsonemidae (e.g. the cyclamen mite, Steneotarsonemus pallidus), and the spider mites of the Tetranychidae (e.g. the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae).

Other Prostigmata live as parasites on vertebrates (e.g. Demodex mites of the Demodecidae) or invertebrates (e.g. Polydiscia deuterosminthurus of the Tanaupodidae or the honeybee tracheal mite, Acarapis woodi, of the Tarsonemidae). There are also some forms (e.g. Smarididae) that are predators of small invertebrates – including smaller Prostigmata – yet others have a more varied lifestyle (e.g. Tydeidae) or switch their food sources as they mature (e.g. Erythraeidae). The suborder also includes the family Halacaridae (marine mites).[1]

Some of the Prostigmata parasitizing vertebrates are of medical relevance due to causing skin diseases in humans. These include for example harvest mites ("chiggers") of the Trombiculidae.

Prostigmata are usually 0.1-2 mm long, though some giant red velvet mites can reach 16 mm. They have a range of different body forms and colours.[2] As mites, most of them have eight legs (six in their larval stage). However, the Eriophyoidea instead have four legs, all positioned at the front of a long, worm-like body.[3] The name "Prostigmata" comes from mites of this group having spiracles (stigmata) on the prodorsum, usually between the chelicerae or on its lateral margins.[4]

Many prostigmatans live in soil. These occur in soils as varied as agricultural fields, burned prairies, tidal marshlands, drained lake beds with algal blooms, and Antarctic soils.[5]

Other prostigmatans are aquatic. The group includes Hydrachnidia, commonly known as the water mites. Hydrachnidia live in many kinds of freshwater habitats, including lentic (e.g. lakes, ponds), lotic (e.g. rivers, streams), springs and interstitial waters.[6] Also in the Prostigmata are family Halacaridae, which are mostly marine.[7]

Other habitats of Prostigmata include caves, algae, mosses, lichens, shrubs and trees.[2]

Prostigmata have a wide range of diets, including species that are predators, herbivores, fungivores, microbivores and parasites.[5]

Among the soil-dwelling Prostigmata, the smaller predatory species have nematodes as an important part of their diet. They may also feed occasionally on fungi, piercing fungal hyphae using stylet chelicerae. Larger predatory species, such as members of Bdelloidea and Trombidoidea, feed on other arthropods or their eggs.[5]
Systematics and taxonomy

The Prostigmata make up the bulk of the acariform clade Trombidiformes, which also contains the minor and quite ancient lineage Sphaerolichida. The trombidiform mites are possibly the most promising approach to untangle the systematics, taxonomy and phylogeny of the notoriously complex Acariformes. Trombidiformes and the other acariform clade, Sarcoptiformes, were formerly considered suborders but this does not allow for a sufficiently precise classification of the mites and is adjusted in more modern treatments.[8]

They contain a few of the little-known "Endeostigmata" – apparently an assemblage of several specialized but unrelated lineages – which for the most part appear to be Sarcoptiformes however.[8] In addition, the Trombidiformes include the bulk of the presumed group of mites called "Actinedida". This taxon is still commonly encountered in systematic treatments. However, modern cladistic studies time and again fail to find any monophyletic group corresponding to the "Actinedida". Thus, they appear to be an evolutionary grade rather than an evolutionary lineage, united not by their apomorphies but by the lack of such characters that have evolved after the Acariformes separated from the Parasitiformes. Thus, the "Actinedida" seem to be a massively paraphyletic "wastebin taxon", uniting all Acariformes that are not "typical" Oribatida and Astigmata.[8][9]

The Prostigmata present their own taxonomic and systematic problems even in the redefined monophyletic delimitation. They are variously subdivided into the Anystina and Eleutherengona, and Eupodina. The delimitation and interrelationships of these groups are entirely unclear; while most analyses find one of the latter two but not the other to be a subgroup of the Anystina, neither of these mutually contradicting hypotheses is very robust; possibly this is a simple error because phylogenetic software usually fails in handling non-dichotomous phylogenies. Consequently it may be best for the time being to consider each of the three main prostigmatan lineages to be equally distinct from the other two, not including either Eleutherengona or Eupodina in the Anystina in accord with the traditional view – the suborder Anystina are here considered the largest possible clade containing the Anystidae but no taxon assigned to the other two suborders.[9]
Currently accepted taxonomy

As of May 2022, Catalogue of Life and Integrated Taxonomic Information System accept the following taxonomy for Prostigmata, including four infraorders:[10][11]

Superfamily Adamystoidea
Superfamily Allotanaupodoidea
Superfamily Amphotrombioidea
Superfamily Anystoidea
Superfamily Arrenuroidea
Superfamily Caeculoidea
Superfamily Calyptostomatoidea
Superfamily Chyzerioidea
Superfamily Erythraeoidea
Superfamily Eylaoidea
Superfamily Hydrachnoidea
Superfamily Hydrovolzioidea
Superfamily Hydryphantoidea
Superfamily Hygrobatoidea
Superfamily Lebertioidea
Superfamily Paratydeoidea
Superfamily Pomerantzioidea
Superfamily Stygothrombioidea
Superfamily Tanaupodoidea
Superfamily Trombiculoidea
Superfamily Trombidioidea
Superfamily Yurebilloidea


(Also known as Eleutherengonides)

Superfamily Cheyletoidea
Superfamily Cloacaroidea
Superfamily Dolichocyboidea
Superfamily Heterocheyloidea
Superfamily Myobioidea
Superfamily Pterygosomatoidea
Superfamily Pyemotoidea
Superfamily Raphignathoidea
Superfamily Scutacaroidea
Superfamily Tarsocheyloidea
Superfamily Tarsonemoidea
Superfamily Tetranychoidea
Superfamily Trochometridioidea


Superfamily Bdelloidea
Superfamily Eriophyoidea
Superfamily Eupodoidea
Superfamily Halacaroidea
Superfamily Tydeoidea


Superfamily Labidostommatoidea: monotypic family Labidostommatidae


Halacaridae: Marine mites Archived 2010-06-02 at the Wayback Machine
Selden, Paul A. (2017), "Arachnids ☆", Reference Module in Life Sciences, Elsevier, pp. B9780128096338022433, doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-809633-8.02243-3, ISBN 978-0-12-809633-8, retrieved 2023-01-16
"Eupodides, Eriophyoidea". Retrieved 2023-01-16.
"All mites have a small head". Retrieved 2023-01-16.
Coleman, David C.; Crossley, D.A.; Hendrix, Paul F. (2004), "Secondary Production: Activities of Heterotrophic Organisms—The Soil Fauna", Fundamentals of Soil Ecology, Elsevier, pp. 79–185, doi:10.1016/b978-012179726-3/50005-8, ISBN 978-0-12-179726-3, retrieved 2023-01-16
Di Sabatino, Antonio; Smit, Harry; Gerecke, Reinhard; Goldschmidt, Tom; Matsumoto, Noriko; Cicolani, Bruno (2008). "Global diversity of water mites (Acari, Hydrachnidia; Arachnida) in freshwater". Hydrobiologia. 595 (1): 303–315. doi:10.1007/s10750-007-9025-1. ISSN 0018-8158. S2CID 10262035.
Pepato, Almir R.; Vidigal, Teofânia H.D.A.; Klimov, Pavel B. (2018). "Molecular phylogeny of marine mites (Acariformes: Halacaridae), the oldest radiation of extant secondarily marine animals". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 129: 182–188. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2018.08.012. PMID 30172010. S2CID 52145427.
Heather Proctor (August 9, 1998). "Acariformes. The "mite-like" mites". Tree of Life Web Project. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
Heather Proctor (August 9, 1998). "Trombidiformes. Trombidiform mites". Tree of Life Web Project. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
"Prostigmata | COL". Retrieved 2022-05-30.

"ITIS - Report: Prostigmata". Retrieved 2022-05-30.


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