Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 159–166 | Cite as

Predation and mycophagy by endeostigmatid mites (Acariformes: Prostigmata)

  • David Evans Walter


The endeostigmatid mitesAlicorhagia fragilis andAlycus spp. are nematophages. Nematodes are cut up by the chelicerae or ingested whole, but are difficult to recognize as gut contents.Alycus roseus is a strict predator and does not consume microphytes.Alicorhagia fragilis is an omnivore. When nematodes are not available, adult females consume more fungi, but lay significantly fewer eggs, and cultures eventually decline to extinction.

Observations of gut contents from 18 genera in ten families indicate that species in the families Terpnacaridae, Grandjeanicidae, Lordalycidae, Micropsammidae, and Oehserchestidae are primarily particulate-feeding fungivores. The families Namorchestidae and Nematalychidae are apparently fluid feeders. Species of Alicorhagiidae are best considered omnivores. In the family Bimichaelidae (=Pachygnathidae)_species with chelate-dentate chelicerae (Alycus, Petralycus, somePachygnathus) are predators of soft-bodied microinvertebrates. Species with attenuate, highly modified chelicerae (e.g.Bimichaelia) have unknown feeding habits.

Alicorhagia fragilis spins a silken thread from its oral cavity with which immatures weave a molting cocoon and with which females weave a platform on which their eggs are laid.


Adult Female Oral Cavity Feeding Habit Silken Thread Fluid Feeder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Elsevier Science Publishers B.V. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Evans Walter
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Natural Resource Ecology LaboratoryColorado State University Fort Collins(U.S.A.)
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyColorado State University Fort Collins(U.S.A.)

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