Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Family ANYSTIDAE Oudemans, 1936


The Anystidae are a cosmopolitan family of fast-moving, soft-bodied mites that are usually orange or red in colour. They are often found running on the soil surface, but some species climb on plants and rocks (Walter et al. 2009). They are predatory, and some species have been advocated as biological control agents for crop pests (Gerson et al. 2003). Anystis wallacei was introduced into Australia for control of pasture pests (Wallace 1981; Otto & Halliday 1991). The Australian fauna of 33 species in six genera is well-known, thanks to a series of recent revisions (Otto 1999a, 1999b, 1999c).

Unidentified species have been recorded from Australia a number of times as listed for each genus, and unidentified Anystidae were also reported by Greenslade (1985), Austin (1993), Grostal & O'Dowd (1994), Frost & Bailey (1997), Walter (1999), Adolphson & Kinnear (2008), Callan et al. (2011), Beyer et al. (2011) and Proctor et al. (2011).

Several authors have used the name Anystis salicinus for a species found in Australia. However, these specimens were all re-identified as Anystis wallacei Otto, 1992. Womersley (1942) provisionally identified Erythracarus parietinum (Hermann, 1804) from Australia. These specimens were later described as Erythracarus amnicolus Otto, 1999c.


General References

Adolphson, H. & Kinnear, A. 2008. Acari (mite) assemblages under plantations of bluegum, Eucalyptus globulus, in southwestern Australia. Pedobiologia 51: 427–437

Austin, A.D. 1993. Nest associates of Clubiona robusta L. Koch (Araneae : Clubionidae) in Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 33: 441-446

Beyer, S., Kinnear, A., Hutley, L.B., McGuiness, K. & Gibb, K. 2011. Assessing the relationship between fire and grazing on soil characteristics and mite communities in a semi-arid savanna of northern Australia. Pedobiologia 54: 195–200

Callan, S.K., Majer, J.D., Edwards, K. & Moro, D. 2011. Documenting the terrestrial invertebrate fauna of Barrow Island, Western Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology 50: 323–343

Frost, W.E. & Bailey, P. 1997. Identifying Mites on Inland Australian Citrus. A Colour Guide for Growers, Packers and Quarantine Staff. South Australian Research and Development Institute, Adelaide. 8 pp.

Gerson, U., Smiley, R.L. & Ochoa, R. 2003. Mites (Acari) for Pest Control. Oxford : Blackwell Science 539 pp.

Greenslade, P. 1985. Terrestrial invertebrates of the mound spring bores, creek beds and other habitats. pp. 64-77 in Greenslade, J., Joseph, L. & Reeves, A. (eds). South Australia's Mound Springs. Adelaide : Nature Conservation Society of South Australia.

Grostal, P. & O'Dowd, D.J. 1994. Plants, mites and mutualism: leaf domatia and the abundance and reproduction of mites on Viburnum tinus (Caprifoliaceae). Oecologia (Berlin) 97: 308-315

Otto, J.C. 1992. A new species of Anystis von Heyden compared with Anystis salicinus (Linnaeus) (Acarina : Anystidae). International Journal of Acarology 18: 25-35

Otto, J.C. 1999a. The taxonomy of Tarsotomus Berlese and Paratarsotomus Kuzntezov (Acarina: Anystidae: Erythracarinae) with observations on the natural history of Tarsotomus. Invertebrate Taxonomy 13: 749-803

Otto, J.C. 1999b. Systematics and natural history of the genus Chaussieria Oudemans (Acarina: Prostigmata: Anystidae). Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 126: 251-306

Otto, J.C. 1999c. Revision of the genus Erythracarus Berlese (Acarina: Anystidae: Erythracarinae). Journal of Natural History 33: 825-909

Otto, J.C. & Halliday, R.B. 1991. Systematics and biology of a predatory mite (Anystis sp.) introduced into Australia for biological control of redlegged earth mite. Plant Protection Quarterly 6: 181-185

Proctor, H., Kanowski, J., Catterall, C.P., Wardell-Johnson, G. & Reis, T. 2011. Rainforest-restoration success as judged by assemblages of soil- and litter-dwelling mites (Arachnida: Acari). Zoosymposia 6: 234–254

Wallace, M.M.H. 1981. Tackling the lucerne flea and the red-legged earth mite. Journal of Agriculture, Western Australia 22: 72-74

Walter, D.E. 1999. Cryptic inhabitants of a noxious weed: Mites (Arachnida: Acari) on Lantana camara L. invading forests in Queensland. Australian Journal of Entomology 38: 197-200

Walter, D.E., Lindquist, E.E., Smith, I.M., Cook, D.R. & Krantz, G.W. 2009. Order Trombidiformes. pp. 233-420 in Krantz, G.W. & Walter, D.E. (eds). A Manual of Acarology. Lubbock, Texas : Texas Tech University Press Third edition, 807 pp.

Womersley, H. 1942. The Anystid mites of Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 66: 15-22


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
07-May-2013 07-May-2013 MODIFIED
29-Jul-2010 29-Jul-2010 MOVED
07-May-2013 09-Jul-2010 ADDED
08-Jul-2010 MODIFIED