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Temporal range: Cenomanian–Recent
Opilioacarus segmentatus.png
Opilioacarus segmentatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acari
Order: Opilioacariformes
Johnston, 1968
Family: Opilioacaridae
With, 1902
Synonyms [1]
  • Notostigmata With, 1903–1904
  • Opilioacarida With, 1902

Opilioacariformes is the smallest order (or superorder[2]) of mites, containing a single family, and around 10 genera.[3] They are rare, large mites, and are widely considered primitive, as they retain six pairs of eyes, and abdominal segmentation.[4] Opilioacariformes may be the sister group to the Parasitiformes.[5]

The first member of the Opilioacariformes to be discovered was the Algerian species Opilioacarus segmentatus, which was described by Carl Johannes With in 1902, followed by the Sicilian Eucarus italicus and Eucarus arabicus from Aden, both in 1904.[3] Two fossil specimens are known, one of which was discovered in Baltic amber from the Eocene,[6] while the other one was discovered in the Burmese amber from the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian).[7]


  1. ^ Joel Hallan (March 24, 2008). "Subclass Acari". Biology Catalog. Texas A&M University. 
  2. ^ "Acari". Tree of Life Web Project. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Mark S. Harvey (2002). "The neglected cousins: what do we know about the smaller arachnid orders?" (PDF). Journal of Arachnology. 30: 357–372. doi:10.1636/0161-8202(2002)030[0357:TNCWDW]2.0.CO;2. 
  4. ^ J. A. Dunlop & G. Alberti (2008). "The affinities of mites and ticks: a review" (PDF). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 46 (1): 1–18. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0469.2007.00429.x. 
  5. ^ Jonathan A. Coddington, Gonzalo Giribet, Mark S. Harvey, Lorenzo Prendini & David E. Walter (2004). "Arachnida". In Joel Cracraft; Michael J. Donoghue. Assembling the tree of life. Oxford University Press. pp. 296–318. ISBN 978-0-19-517234-8. 
  6. ^ Jason A. Dunlop, Jörg Wunderlich & George O. Poinar, Jr. (2003). "The first fossil opilioacariform mite (Acari: Opilioacariformes) and the first Baltic amber camel spider (Solifugae)". Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: Earth Sciences. 94: 261–273. doi:10.1017/S0263593300000663. 
  7. ^ Jason A. Dunlop and Leopoldo Ferreira de Oliveira Bernardi (2014). "An opilioacarid mite in Cretaceous Burmese amber". Naturwissenschaften. 101: 759–763. PMID 25027588. doi:10.1007/s00114-014-1212-0. 

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