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Skvarla M, Fisher J, Dowling A (2014) A review of Cunaxidae (Acariformes, Trombidiformes): Histories and diagnoses of subfamilies and genera, keys to world species, and some new locality records. ZooKeys 418 : 1–103, doi. Versioned wiki page: 2014-06-20, version 53349, , contributors (alphabetical order): Pensoft Publishers.

Citation formats to copy and paste


author = {Skvarla, Michael J., Fisher, J. Ray AND Dowling, Ashley P. G.},
journal = {ZooKeys},
publisher = {Pensoft Publishers},
title = {A review of Cunaxidae (Acariformes, Trombidiformes): Histories and diagnoses of subfamilies and genera, keys to world species, and some new locality records},
year = {2014},
volume = {418},
issue = {},
pages = {1--103},
doi = {10.3897/zookeys.418.7629},
url = {},
note = {Versioned wiki page: 2014-06-20, version 53349, , contributors (alphabetical order): Pensoft Publishers.}


RIS/ Endnote:

T1 - A review of Cunaxidae (Acariformes, Trombidiformes): Histories and diagnoses of subfamilies and genera, keys to world species, and some new locality records
A1 - Skvarla M, Fisher J
A1 - Dowling A
Y1 - 2014
JF - ZooKeys
JA -
VL - 418
IS -
UR -
SP - 1
EP - 103
PB - Pensoft Publishers
M1 - Versioned wiki page: 2014-06-20, version 53349, , contributors (alphabetical order): Pensoft Publishers.

M3 - doi:10.3897/zookeys.418.7629

Wikipedia/ Citizendium:

<ref name="Skvarla2014ZooKeys418">{{Citation
| author = Skvarla M, Fisher J, Dowling A
| title = A review of Cunaxidae (Acariformes, Trombidiformes): Histories and diagnoses of subfamilies and genera, keys to world species, and some new locality records
| journal = ZooKeys
| year = 2014
| volume = 418
| issue =
| pages = 1--103
| pmid =
| publisher = Pensoft Publishers
| doi = 10.3897/zookeys.418.7629
| url =
| pmc =
| accessdate = 2021-01-27

}} Versioned wiki page: 2014-06-20, version 53349, , contributors (alphabetical order): Pensoft Publishers.</ref>

See also the citation download page at the journal.


Ordo: Trombidiformes
Familia: Cunaxidae


Cunaxa Von Heyden, 1826Wikispecies linkPensoft Profile

Historical review

Hermann (1804)[1] erected Scirus for Scirus setirostris and placed it with two mites that are now considered to belong to the family Bdellidae. Von Heyden (1826)[2] erected Cunaxa for Scirus setirostris. Duges (1834a)[3] described Scirus elaphus. Duges (1834b)[4] described Scirus tenuirostris. Koch (1836)[5] described Scirus stabulicola and Scirus sagax and later (1838[6]) Scirus paludicola. Gervais (1841)[7] described Scirus obisium. Berlese (1887)[8] described Scirus capreolus. Berlese (1888)[9] synonymized Scirus elaphus, Scirus stabulicola, Scirus sagax, and Scirus paludicola with Scirus setirostris. Thor (1902)[10] erected Cunaxidae and split Cunaxa from Bdellidae. Ewing (1913)[11] described Scirus laricis. Scirus setirostris var. gazella was described by Berlese (1916)[12]. Thor and Willmann (1941)[13] redescribed and figured Scirus laricis after transferring it to Cunaxa; they also transferred Scirus setirostris var. gazella to Cunaxa, though kept it as a subspecies of Cunaxa setirostris and synonymized Scirus tenuirostris and Scirus obisium with Cunaxa setirostris. Baker and Hoffmann (1948)[14] redescribed and figured Cunaxa setirostris var. gazella and Cunaxa capreolus and described Cunaxa womersleyi and Cunaxa veracruzana. Zaher et al. (1975b)[15] reported Cunaxa setirostris and Cunaxa capreolus from Egypt. Den Heyer (1978a)[16] erected Cunaxinae and assigned Cunaxa to the subfamily. Den Heyer (1979e)[17] elevated Cunaxa setirostris var. gazella to full species status, viz. Cunaxa gazella; described Cunaxa carina, Cunaxa terrula, Cunaxa lamberti, Cunaxa meiringi, and Cunaxa grobleri and redescribed and figured Cunaxa capreola and Cunaxa gazella. He then (Den Heyer 1979f[18]) described five more species from South Africa: Cunaxa hermanni, Cunaxa sordwanaensis, Cunaxa potchensis, Cunaxa brevicrura, and Cunaxa magoebaensis. Kuznetzov and Livshitz (1979)[19] redescribed and figured Cunaxa capreolus and Cunaxa setirostris from Russia. Chaudhri (1980)[20] described Cunaxa doxa. Tseng (1980)[21] reported Cunaxa womersleyi and Cunaxa setirostris from Taiwan. Gupta and Ghosh (1980)[22] described Cunaxa myabunderensis. Gupta and Paul (1985)[23] described Cunaxa prinia. Bu and Li (1987c)[24] reported Cunaxa capreola from China. Michocka (1987)[25] reported Cunaxa setirostris from Poland. Muhammad et al. described Rubroscirus valentis from Pakistan. Smiley (1992)[26] described Cunaxa mageei, Cunaxa thailandicus, Cunaxa evansi, and Cunaxa neogazella; he also synonymized Rubroscirus with Cunaxa, though failed to include his evidence for doing so. Gupta (1992)[27] described Cunaxa anacardae and Cunaxa magniferae. Muhammad and Chaudhri (1993)[28] described Rubroscirus rasile and Rubroscirus otiosus from Pakistan. Corpuz-Raros and Garcia (1995)[29] described five species from the Philippines: Cunaxa luzonica, Cunaxa romblonensis, Cunaxa pantabanganensis, Cunaxa cogonae, and Cunaxa mercedesae. Hu (1997)[30] reported 28 species of Cunaxidae from China. Khaustov and Kuznetzov (1998)[31] described Cunaxa heterostriata, Cunaxa anomala, Cunaxa sudakensis and Cunaxa bochkovi. Chinniah and Mohanasundaram (2001)[32] described Cunaxa eupatoriae. Sergeyenko (2003)[33] described Cunaxa dentata. Sionti and Papadoulis (2003)[34] described Cunaxa thessalica from Greece. Bei et al. recorded Cunaxa mageei from China. Bashir, Afzal, and Ali (2005)[35] described Cunaxa reticulatus and moved Rubroscirus valentis, Rubroscirus rasile, and Rubroscirus otiosus to Cunaxa. Bashir and Afzal (2006) described Cunaxa jatoiensis. Sergeyenko (2009)[36] described Cunaxa gordeevae, Cunaxa guanotoleranta, Cunaxa maculata, Cunaxa papuliphora, Cunaxa violaphila and Cunaxa yaylensis. Den Heyer and Sergeyenko (2009)[36] redescribed Cunaxa setirostris and designated a neotype for the species. Bashir and Afzal (2009)[37] described Cunaxa bashiri, Cunaxa clusus, Cunaxa dotos, Cunaxa lodhranensis, Cunaxa mahmoodi, Cunaxa nankanaensis, Cunaxa okaraensis, Cunaxa pakpatanensis. Bashir et al. (2010)[38] described Cunaxa rafiqi and Cunaxa leuros. Bashir et al. (2011)[39] “described” Cunaxa nankanaensis as a new species using the same illustrations Bashir and Afzal (2009)[37] used to describe the species originally. Den Heyer et al. (2011a)[40] described the male of Cunaxa capreolus.


Gnathosoma. Pedipalps–5-segmented and reach beyond the subcapitulum by at most the distal half of the tibiae. An apophysis on the telofemora present or absent. Dorsolateral setae on the basi- and telofemora simple. Stout spine-like setae on the genua and tibiotarsi present or absent. Tibiotarsi end in a strong claw. Subcapitulum with 6 pairs of setae: 2 pairs of adoral setae and 4 pairs of subcapitular setae (hg1–4). Subcapitulum smooth or patterned with random dots, but never reticulated.
Idiosoma, dorsal. Proterosoma bears a shield that is complemented with 2 pairs of setae (at and pt) and 2 pairs of setose sensillae (lps and mps). Dorsal hysterosoma may bear a shield; if a shield is present, it may bear up to 4 pairs of setae. Dorsal shields may be smooth or patterned with random dots, but never reticulated. Lateral platelets (as in Armascirus and Dactyloscirus) absent. Setae c1h1, and c2 present. Setae not born on the median plate may be born on small platelets that are barely larger than the setal socket. Cupule im present laterad and caudally of e1. Integument not bearing the proterosomal shield and median plate (if present) striated. These striations smooth or lobed but never papillated.
Idiosoma, ventral. Coxae I–II may be fused and coxae III–IV may be fused. Coxae II–IV setal formula 1-3-2. Genital plates each bear 4 setae; 2 pairs of genital papillae visible underneath the plates. Anal plates bear 1 pair of setae (ps1). 1 pair of setae (h2) associated with, but do not occur on, the anal plates. Cupule ih present in close proximity to h2. Integument between plates striated and bears up to 7 pairs of additional setae. Legs. Tarsi long and slender. Tarsi constricted distally but the tarsal lobes are small and not conspicuous as in Armascirus and Dactyloscirus. A trichobothrium on tibia IV present. Ambulacral claws on either side of a 4-rayed empodium present.

Key to adult female Cunaxa

Cunaxa bochkovi is not included in the key because the original description is in Cyrillic and the illustration does not contain enough detail or diagnostic characteristics. Den Heyer (pers. comm., Jan. 13, 2014) indicated that Cunaxa setirostris var. plurisetosa and Cunaxa setirostris var. diversa were described in “Mihelcic, F. 1958” but did not have the entire citation and had not seen the original description. The authors have also not been able to locate such a publication after extensive searching and so have not included the taxa here.
As suggested by Den Heyer (2011b)[41], Cunaxa boneti, Cunaxa denmarki, Cunaxa exoterica, Cunaxa floridanus, Cunaxa lehmanae, Cunaxa lukoschusi, Cunaxa metzi, Cunaxa myabunderensis, Cunaxa newyorkensis, Cunaxa rackae, Cunaxa reevesi, and Cunaxa reticulatus are moved to Rubroscirus and Cunaxa otiosus,? Cunaxa valentis, and Cunaxa rasile returned to Rubroscirus as they possess dorsal plates that are reticulated instead of smooth as in Cunaxa.
Cunaxa nankanaensis Bashir, Afzal, Ashfaq, Raza, Kamran, 2011 is considered a junior synonym and junior homonym of Cunaxa nankanaensis Bashir & Afzal, 2009.

Taxon Treatment

  • Skvarla, M; Fisher, J; Dowling, A; 2014: A review of Cunaxidae (Acariformes, Trombidiformes): Histories and diagnoses of subfamilies and genera, keys to world species, and some new locality records ZooKeys, 418: 1-103. doi


Other References

  1. Hermann J (1804) III. Ciron (Scirus). Mem. Apterologique 60–62; pl. 3; fig. 12; pl. 6; fig. 12.
  2. Von Heyden C (1826) Versuch einer systematischen Eintheilung der Acariden. “Isis” von Oken 18(6): 19.
  3. Duges A (1834a) Recherches sur l’ ordre des Acariens en Generale et la Famille des Trombidies en Particulier. Annales des Sciences Naturelles Zoologie et Biologie 2: 42.
  4. Duges A (1834b) Recherches Sur L’Ordre des Acariens III. Ann. Sci. nat. Ser. 2. 2(2): 2001.1–26.
  5. Koch C (1836) Deutschlands Crustaceen, Myriapoden und Arachniden (D.C.M.A.), 1.22.
  6. Koch C (1838) Deutschlands Crustaceen, Myriapoden und Arachniden (D.C.M.A.), 20.21, 20.22, 20.23 and 20.24.
  7. Gervais M (1841) Note sur quelques species de l’ ordre des Acariens. Annales des Sciences Naturelles - Zoologie et Biologie Animale 15: 6.
  8. Berlese A (1887) Acari Italiani Myriapoda et Scorpiones hucusque in Italia reperta. Redia 14: 78–105.
  9. Berlese A (1888) Acari Austro-Americani quos collegit Aloysius Balzan. Bullettino della Societa Entomologica Italiana 20: 171–222.
  10. Thor S (1902) Zur Systematik der Acarinenfamilien Bdellidae Koch, 1842, Grube 1859, Eupodidae Koch, 1842 und Cunaxidae Sig Thor, 1902. Verhandllungen der kaiserlich-kongiglichen zoologish-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien, 159–165.
  11. Ewing H (1913) New Acarina. Part I. General considerations and descriptions of new species from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 32(5): 93–121.
  12. Berlese A (1916) Centuria secunda di Acari nuovi. Redia 12(1): 125–177.
  13. Thor S, Willmann C (1941) Eupodidae, Penthalodidae, Penthaleidae, Rhagidiidae, Pachygnathidae, Cunaxidae. In: Thor S Willmann C (Eds) Das Tierreich, Eine Zusammenstellung und Kennzeichung der rezenten Tierformen. Lieferung 71a. Walter De Gruyter and Co, Leipzig, 164–175.
  14. Baker E, Hoffmann A (1948) Acaros de la familia Cunaxidae. Anales de la Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas Mexico 5(3–4): 229–273.
  15. Zaher M, Soliman Z, El-Bishlawy S (1975b) Studies on population dynamics of soil predaceous prostigmatid mites in Giza, Egypt. Zeitschrift fur angewandte entomologie 79: 440–443.
  16. Den Heyer J (1978a) Four new species of Armascirus gen. nov. (Prostigmata: Acari) from the Ethiopian Region. Journal of the Entomological Society of South Africa 41(2): 217–239.
  17. Den Heyer J (1979e) Descriptions of seven African species of Cunaxa Von Heyden, 1826 (Actinedida: Acari) with remarks on the genus. Phytophylactica 11(1): 24–42.
  18. Den Heyer J (1979f) Five new African species of Cunaxa (Actinedida: Acarida). Phytophylactica 11: 159–171.
  19. Kuznetzov N, Livshitz I (1979) Predatory mites of the Nikita Botanical Gardens (Acariformes: Bdellidae, Cunaxidae Camarobiidae). Trudy Gosudarstvennogo Nikitskogo Botanicheskogo Sada 79: 51–105.
  20. Chaudhri W (1980) Studies on the biosystematics and control of mites of field crops, vegetables and fruit plants in Pakistan, second annual report. University of Agriculture Faisalabad, 80.
  21. Tseng Y (1980) Taxonomical study of the mite family Cunaxidae from Taiwan (Acarina: Tromoidiformes). Quarterly Journal of the Taiwan Museum 33(3-4): 253–277.
  22. Gupta S, Ghosh S (1980) Some prostigmatid mites (Acarina) from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Records of the Zoological Survey of India 77: 189–213.
  23. Gupta S, Paul K (1985) Some mites associated with birds nests in West Bengal, with descriptions of eleven new species. Bulletin of the Zoological Survey of India 7(1): 1–23.
  24. Bu G, Li L (1987c) List of cunaxids fround in Sichuan, China (Acariformes: Cunaxidae). Journal of Southwest Agricultural University 9: 384–387.
  25. Michocka S (1987) Mites (Acari) of the Bdellidae and Cunaxidae families in Poland. Monografie Fauny Polski 14: 1–127.
  26. Smiley R (1992) The predatory mite family Cunaxidae (Acari) of the world with a new classification. Indira Publishing House, West Bloomington, Michigan, 356 pp.
  27. Gupta S (1992) Arachnida: Plant mites (Acari). In: Saha S (Ed) State Fauna Series 3, Fauna of West Bengal, Part 3. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, India, 61–211.
  28. Muhammad T, Chaudhri W (1993) Descriptions of two new species of the genus Rubroscirus Den Heyer (Cunaxidae: Acarina) from Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences 30(1): 108–114.
  29. Corpuz-Raros L, Garcia R (1995) Philippine predatory mites of the family Cunaxidae (Acari). 1. Genus Cunaxa Von Heyden. Philippine Entomologist 9(6): 605–624.
  30. Hu S (1997) Cunaxid mites recorded in China. Journal of Ninbo Teachers College 15(1): 56–59.
  31. Khaustov A, Kuznetzov N (1998) Four new species of the genus Cunaxa (Acariformes, Cunaxidae). Zoologicheskii Zhurnal 77(11): 1332–1341.
  32. Chinniah C, Mohanasundaram M (2001) New species of acarine fauna (Acarina: Mesostigmata) from Shevroy Range of Eastern Ghats of Tamil Nadu, India. Zoo’s Print Journal 16(7): 523–531. doi: 10.11609/JoTT.ZPJ.16.7.523-31
  33. Sergeyenko A (2003) A new species of mites of the genus Cunaxa (Acarina: Prostigmata: Cunaxidae) from Crimea (Ukraine). Acarina 11(2): 225–229.
  34. Sionti P, Papadoulis G (2003) Cunaxid mites of Greece (Acari: Cunaxidae). International Journal of Acarology 29(4): 315–325. doi: 10.1080/01647950308684347
  35. Bashir M, Afzal M, Ali S (2005) Description of a new cunaxid mite Cunaxa reticulatus (Acari) from Pakistan. Pakistan Entomologist 27(2): 57–60.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Sergeyenko A (2009) New mites species of the genus Cunaxa (Acari: Prostigmata: Cunaxidae) from the Crimea, Ukraine. Zootaxa 2161: 1–19.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Bashir M, Afzal M (2009) Mite fauna of family Cunaxidae (Acari) form Punjab, Pakistan. VDM Verlag Dr. Muller Aktiengesellschaft & Co., Saarbrucken, Germany, 322 pp.
  38. Bashir M, Afzal M, Ashfaq M, Akbar S, Ali S (2010) Two new species of the genus Cunaxa (Acari: Cunaxidae) from District Nankana. Pakistan Journal of Zoology 42(3): 217–222.
  39. Bashir M, Afzal M, Ashfaq M, Raza A, Kamran M (2011) Record of one new species of the genus Cunaxa (Acari: Cunaxidae) from rice husk. Pakistan Journal of Zoology 43(1): 37–40.
  40. Den Heyer J, Ueckermann E, Khanjani M (2011a) Iranian Cunaxidae (Acari: Prostigmata: Bdelloidea): Part 2. Subfamily Cunaxinae. Journal of Natural History, 45(27–28): 1667–1678.
  41. Den Heyer J (2011b) BdelloideaBase: Bdellid & Cunaxid Databases (version Sep 2011). In: Roskov Y Kunze T Paglinawan L Orrell T Nicolson D Culham A Bailly N Kirk P Bourgoin T Baillargeon G Hernandez F De Wever A (Eds) Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2013 Annual Checklist. DVD; Species 2000: Reading, UK. doi: 10.1080/01647954.2010.495953