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Ixodes hexagonus (aka).jpg
A tick of the species Ixodes ricinus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acari
Order: Parasitiformes
Suborders and main families

The Parasitiformes are an order[1][2][3][4] of Acari (treated as a suborder and superorder[5][6] in outdated classifications). Many species are parasitic (most famous of which are ticks), but not all; for example, about half of the 10,000 known species in the suborder Mesostigmata are predatory and cryptozoan, living in the soil-litter, rotting wood, dung, carrion, nests or house dust. A few species have switched to grazing on fungi or ingesting spores or pollen.

The phytoseiid mites, which account for about 15% of all described Mesostigmata are used with great success for biological control.

There are over 12,000 described species of Parasitiformes, and the total estimate is between 100,000 and 200,000 species.


  1. ^ S. C. BARKER and A. MURRELL (2004). Systematics and evolution of ticks with a list of valid genus and species names. Parasitology, 129, pp S15-S36. doi:10.1017/S0031182004005207.
  2. ^ Evolution of ticks Klompen, J S ; Black, W C ; Keirans, J E ; Oliver, J H Annual review of entomology, 1996, Vol.41, pp.141-61
  3. ^ John F Anderson, The natural history of ticks, Medical Clinics of North America, Volume 86, Issue 2, March 2002, Pages 205-218
  4. ^ Hans Klompen, Mariam Lekveishvili, William C. Black IV, Phylogeny of parasitiform mites (Acari) based on rRNA, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 43, Issue 3, June 2007, Pages 936-951
  5. ^ Lindquist, E.E., Walter, D.E., Krantz, G.W. (2009) A manual of Acarology, 3 Edit. Lubbock: Texas Tech, pp. 97-103
  6. ^ Schweizer, J. (1949). Die Landmilben des schweizerischen Nationalparks: Teil 1. Liestal: Lüdin.