A review of the genus Ledermuelleriopsis Willmann (Acari: Prostigmata: Stigmaeidae)

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Fan, Qing-Hai
Walter, David Evans
Proctor, Heather
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2003
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Abstract

The mite family Stigmaeidae (Acari : Prostigmata) is of considerable importance in biological control, but its genera are often poorly defined and have never been subjected to cladistic analysis. Herein, we report the stigmaeid genus Ledermuelleriopsis Willmann from Australia for the first time, present a preliminary phylogenetic analysis that demonstrates that Eustigmaeus Berlese and Ledermuelleriopsis Willman are distinct, review the genus at the world level, and provide diagnostic characters of the adult females for each of the 21 known species. We also catalogue habitats, distributions and localities of holotypes. Four new species from Australia are described and illustrated: L. parvilla, sp. nov. from old dune sand, L. barbellata, sp. nov. from wet-sandy heath litter, and L. pustulosa, sp. nov. and L. claviseta, sp. nov. from dry eucalypt forest litter. A key to adult females of all known Ledermuelleriopsis species is provided. The Australian species and L. incisa Wood from New Zealand can be separated from all other members of the genus by a synapomorphy: the reduction of the number of setae on the aggenital shield to one pair. Results of a preliminary morphological cladistic analysis for those stigmaeid genera in which the larvae and adults of both sexes are known, indicate that Ledermuelleriopsis is basal to a clade containing Cheylostigmaeus Willman and Eustigmaeus.

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Invertebrate Systematics
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17
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4
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Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Evolutionary Biology
Zoology
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