Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 27 Number 2: 47-54 - April 1965

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Free Fiving Mites (Acarina) in Caves of the Eastern United States
John R. Holsinger


The free living, cave-associated Acarina of North America are poorly known, and the literature regarding these forms is fragmentary. To date, representatives of 13 families of mites have been collected from caves in the eastern United States but only a few species have been determined. Two families, Rhagidiidae and Parastidae, are relatively abundant in a number of caves, and within these two groups several troglobites appear to have evolved. Taxonomically and ecologically, European and North American cave mite faunas appear to be closely related. The study of cave acarology in the United States is, at best, in its early stages. Future investigations in this field should provide a wealth of new and pertinent information on the systematics and biology of these animals.

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