Tyrophagus (Acari: Astigmata: Acaridae)

Qing-Hai Fan, Zhi-Qiang Zhang


Tyrophagus (Acari: Acaridae) are primarily fungivorous mites commonly found in stored food products and decaying organic matter. They are also associates of various insects, or inhabitants of vertebrate nests. They are the most abundant and economically important mites inhabiting stored food and products. Some Tyrophagus species are also facultatively phytophagous and can cause economic damage to plants, including both ornamental flowers and vegetables grown in greenhouses.

In this contribution, Tyrophagus mites of New Zealand are comprehensively revised, along with species found in Australia and other Oceanian countries. This will assist identification and facilitate requests for rapid quarantine decisions from trading partners. Ten species, including two new species, are described and illustrated from New Zealand: Tyrophagus communis sp. n., T. curvipenis Fain & Fauvel, T. longior (Gervais), T. macfarlanei sp. n., T. neiswanderi Johnston & Bruce, T. putrescentiae (Schrank), T. robertsonae Lynch, T. savasi Lynch, T. similis Volgin, and T. vanheurni Oudemans. Seven species, including three new species, are described and illustrated from Australia and Oceanian countries: T. australasiae (Oudemans), T. javensis (Oudemans), T. pacificus sp. n., T. perniciosus Zakhvatkin, T. tropicus Robertson, T. womersleyi sp. n., and T. xenoductus sp. n. Identification keys to adult females and males are given, along with taxonomic references, hosts/habitats and distribution data of each species.

In addition to the descriptions of five new species, the following nomenclatural changes are made: Tyrophagus africanus Meyer & Rodrigues, 1966 syn. n. of Tyrophagus neiswanderi Johnston & Bruce, 1965; T. palmarum Oudemans sensu Robertson, 1959 syn. n. of T. vanheurni Oudemans (revived). The species concepts of T. putrescentiae (Schrank) and T. javensis (Oudemans) are clarified.

Checklist of taxa

Species in New Zealand
Tyrophagus communis sp. n.
Tyrophagus curvipenis Fain & Fauvel
Tyrophagus longior (Gervais)
Tyrophagus macfarlanei sp. n.
Tyrophagus neiswanderi Johnston & Bruce
Tyrophagus putrescentiae (Schrank)
Tyrophagus robertsonae
Tyrophagus savasi Lynch
Tyrophagus similis Volgin
Tyrophagus vanheurni Oudemans

Australasian and Oceanian species not present in New Zealand
Tyrophagus australasiae (Oudemans)
Tyrophagus javensis (Oudemans)
Tyrophagus pacificus sp. n.
Tyrophagus perniciosus Zakhvatkin
Tyrophagus tropicus Robertson
Tyrophagus womersleyi sp. n.
Tyrophagus xenoductus sp. n.


Arachnidae; Acari; Acaridae; tyrophagus mites; Taxonomy; biology; keys; Australia; new species; Oceanian countries; quarantine; Astigmata


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