Families of Parasitiformes in Soil

This is a key to the adult females of 43 families and 3 superfamilies of soil-inhabiting parasitiform mites and was built in Lucid Professional Version 2.0 (http://www.lucidcentral.com/).  The key is meant to be comprehensive for the known Australian soil fauna, including previously unpublished records, but also identifies mites that have not yet (and may never be) been found in Australia, e.g. Epicriidae, Zerconoidea, Arctacaridae, Seiodidae, and Pyrosejidae.  Zerconoidea, Thinozerconoidea, and Uropodoidea are identified only to the superfamily level.  Zerconoidea (2 families) and Thinozerconoidea (3 families) are not known from Australia.  Uropodoidea dominate many Australian forest litter faunas, but are very poorly known here and the family level classification is unresolved.

The key consists of a window of characters, each with 2 or more character states, and a window with the 46 taxa.  Each character state and taxon has associated images and text.  Additional hyper-links to images (e.g. the families in the paragraph above) appear in many of the text boxes.  You can view the linked images by clicking on the underlined words.  After having viewed the images and read the text, you may choose a character state found on your specimen and taxa scored as not having this state are discarded.  With luck, you will end up with only one taxon (and the correct one).  Once an identification has been obtained, or if you are stuck with two or more taxa that you cannot separate, the user should always compare their specimen to the taxon images and taxon notes: any deviation between the specimen and the diagnosis, in particular, should be a cause for concern.  Please report any problems or constructive suggestions to Dave Walter at the email address below.

David Evans Walter
The University of Queensland 
Brisbane, December 2000

[email protected]
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The preparation of this key was funded by the Australian Biological Resources Study