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Sarraceniopus gibsoni 1.jpg
Ventral view of Sarraceniopus gibsoni, the pitcher plant mite, which is found within the pitcher leaves of Sarracenia purpurea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acari
Order: Sarcoptiformes
(unranked): Astigmatina
Superfamily: Histiostomatoidea
Family: Histiostomatidae
Berlese, 1897

Histiostomatidae is a family of astigmatid mites and branches basically in a phylogenetic tree of the Astigmata.[1]


These mites are characterized by a very small size (about 600–900 µm in length) and a close association to arthropodes, mainly insects. A morphologically specialized instar, the deutonymph (earlier "hypopus"), is adapted to attach e.g. insects for a phoretic transport from one habitat to another. The mites use different insect groups as phoretic carriers[2][3] such as beetles, flies and Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps). In all species, the digitus mobilis of the chelicera is reduced to small rests, and the distal pedipalp article is connected to a more or less complex membranous structure. These mouthpart modifications form an organ to feed bacteria.[4]

Habitats are colonized by the mites such as animal dung, compost,[2] waterfilled treeholes or the fluids of Nepenthes and Sarracenia - pitcher plants.[5]


The family contains the following genera:[6]


  1. ^ B. M. OConnor (1981). A systematic revision of the family-group taxa in the non-psoroptid Astigmata (Acari, Acariformes) (Ph.D. thesis). University of Michigan. 
  2. ^ a b R. Scheucher (1957). "Systematik und Ökologie der deutschen Anoetinen". Beiträge zur Systematik und Ökologie mitteleuropäischer Acarina (in German). 1: 233–384. 
  3. ^ R. D. Hughes & C. G. Jackson (1958). "A review of the Anoetidae (Acari)". Virginia Journal of Science. 9: 5–198. 
  4. ^ Stefan Wirth (2004). Phylogeny, biology and character transformations of the Histiostomatidae (Acari, Astigmata) (Ph.D. thesis). Freie Universität Berlin. 
  5. ^ Norman J. Fashing (2002). "Nepenthacarus, a new genus of Histiostomatidae (Acari) inhabiting the pitchers of Nepenthes mirabilis (Lour.) Druce in Far North Queensland, Australia" (PDF). Australian Journal of Entomology. 41: 2–11. 
  6. ^ "Histiostomatidae Berlese, 1897". Joel Hallan's Biology Catalog. Texas A&M University. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 


[1] Histiostomatidae-Mites: Mouthparts and Feeding von Stefan F. Wirth [2] Mites of the Histiostomatidae von Stefan F. Wirth