The morphological similarity between species of Ascidae Voigts & Oudemans, Blattisociidae Garman and Melicharidae Hirschmann is considerable and for this reason until recently they were all classified as a single family, Ascidae (Lindquist & Evans, 1965). Recent studies (Lindquist et al., 2009) have led to their separation, two of those families (Ascidae and Melicharidae) being placed in Ascoidea, and one (Blattisociidae) in Phytoseioidea.

A complete characterization of Melicharidae was given by Moraes et al. (2016). Mites of this family can be recognized by the following characteristics:

  • Podonotal and opisthonotal shields usually fused.
  • Third pair of sternal lyrifissures (iv3) off sternal shield (absent in Mucroseius and some Proctolaelaps), usually inserted on metasternal plates together with sternal seta st4 when metasternal plates are present.
  • Peritrematic shield free posteriorly from, or narrowly fused with, exopodal shield beside coxa IV (except Orthadenella).
  • Fixed cheliceral digit with a hyaline lobe instead of setiform pilus dentilis (except Orthadenella and some Proctolaelaps); movable cheliceral digit usually with a pointed process (mucro) on mid-ventral face.
  • Spermathecal apparatus laelapid-type.
  • Genital shield usually gently rounded posteriorly.
  • Anal shield usually oval or elliptical, bearing only circumanal setae; some genera with small ventrianal shield, bearing 1–3pairs of setae (broad ventrianal shield bearing 5–6 pairs of setae in Orthadenella); with separate ventral and anal shields in Proctogastrolaelaps.

Melicharid species have been described from a wide range of countries and habitats. This data base provides information about the world distribution and habitats occupied by species of this family, which should be of interest to research works dealing with the taxonomy, biology and ecology of these groups, and even to applied biological control activities. Preparation of the base was done by consulting the world literature, starting with the publications cited by Moraes et al. (2016).

The taxonomic concept used in this work is based on Moraes et al. (2016), in which detailed information about the nomenclature reported for each genus and species can be found. This data base is updated periodically, as new information becomes available in the literature. A major effort was done to include precise information about all known melicharid species, but mistakes and omissions may have happened. We would be grateful to users for letting us know of those mistakes or omissions, so that the information can be corrected or complemented.

How to cite

Santos, J.C., Demite, P.R. & Moraes, G.J. de. (current year) Melicharidae Database. Available from: (accessed XX/XX/XXXX).



For some of the species, observations are presented explaining particular situations, such as species of questionable identification (tentative identifications, affinis, “near”, “cf” and “?”), species listed differently from the way that currently (cited as) and species whose information was complemented by queries to the authors (***).