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Hernandes F.A., Kreiter S., Tixier M.-S.


How to cite : Hernandes F.A., Kreiter S. Tixier M.S. 2012. Electronic polytomous key to species of the sub-genus Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) De Leon (Acari: Phytoseiidae) of the world. http://www1.montpellier.inra.fr/CBGP/phytoseiidae/anthoseiuskeypresentation.html

Hernandes F.A., Kreiter S., Tixier M.S. 2012. The first electronic polytomous key to the world species of the subgenus Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) De Leon (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Zootaxa 3451: 46-59.




The sub-genus Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) is one of the largest within the family Phytoseiidae, and the largest within the subfamily Typhlodrominae, currently comprising slightly over than 300 valid species (Moraes et al. 2004, Chant and McMurtry 2007). It is characterized by the absence of Z1 and presence of S5. It differs from Typhlodromus (Typhlodromus) by the presence of this latter seta pair.




Dorsal view of a female of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius)








The species considered in the key

We considered only the valid species according the last world catalogue of the family (Moraes et al. 2004). We also included in the key the species newly described after the edition of this catalogue (Wu & Ou 2002; Bayan & Merheb 2006, Ueckermann et al. 2008, 2009; Faraji et al. 2008, 2011; El-Banhawy et al. 2009; El-Banhawy & Knapp 2011; Denmark & Evans 2011; Stathakis & Papadoulis 2012; Wu et al. 2012). Furthermore, one species T. (A.) eddiei was not included as after observation of the original description, this species appears to belong to the genus Kuzinellus Wainstein. Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) elisae Schicha & McMurtry was not included in the key either, as after observation of the type, this species seems to be assigned to the genus Neoseiulella. One species, Typhlodromus (Typhlodromus) rarus (Wainstein) (synonym of Typhlodromus (Typhlodromus) tranquillus Livshitz & Kuznetsov) was included in the key, as the original description obviously shows that it belongs the subgenus Typhlodromus (Anthoseius). The key presently contains 343 species. Illustrations of the species for which copyrights have been obtained are included in the polytomous key.

The characters considered in the key

Thirty five characters were used to characterize each of the 345 species. Among these characters, 14 are discrete and 21 are continuous. The discrete characters correspond to presence / absence of some setae and solenostomes (glandular pores) on the sternal, ventrianal and dorsal shields. The continuous characters correspond to the measurements of setae on the dorsal shield and on the tarsus of the leg IV. The discrete characters had usually two states (absence and presence); for the continuous characters, each species has been characterized by a range for a variation (min-max) using the work of Tixier (2012). In addition to morphological characters, we also added in the polytomous key information on the geographical occurrence of the species considered. Data on the geographic distribution were obtained from the two world catalogues of the family Phytoseiidae (Moraes et al. 1986, 2004) and from subsequent papers (e.g. Wu & Ou 2002; Bayan & Merheb 2006, Ueckermann et al. 2008, 2009; Faraji et al. 2008, 2011; El-Banhawy et al. 2009; El-Banhawy & Knapp 2011; Denmark & Evans 2011; Stathakis & Papadoulis 2012; Wu et al. 2012). Illustrations of each character is given in the key to help the user.

How to use the key

The polytomous key was constructed using the software DELTA 1.04 (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) (Dallwitz 2009, Coleman et al. 2010) in MS-Windows. DELTA is a modern software package that manages taxonomic research (Dallwitz 2009).

The user needs to download this software package for using the key

It can be downloaded for free from the website http://delta-intkey.com (search under: Programs and documentation, Programs, All programs (including Intkey). A complete description of the software and of its advantages is given in Coleman et al. (2010).

When clicking on the following link, the user will download the repertory included the key. Once the repertory unzipped, the user will access to the key opening the file intkey.ink


Click here to access the key


Special aknowlegments

This online key was extremely improved by the use of digital illustrations from the original publications with descriptions / redescriptions of species of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius). We acknowledge the following Journals and Print Offices who kindly agreed to let us use the images of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) originally published in their pages: Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, Brazilian Journal of Biology, Chinese Journal of Entomology, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Entomological News, Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine, Pemberley Books Publishing,Hilgardia, Indian Journal of Acarology, Indira Publishing House, International Journal of Entomology, Journal of Zoology, Magnolia Press, Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, Pakistan Journal of Zoology,Phytoparasitica, Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington,Revista Ibérica de Aracnología, The Canadian Entomologist, Florida Entomological Society, Vestnik Zoologii and Zoological Research.

We also would like to acknowledge the following acarologists and colleagues who kindly gave the authorization for using their illustrations:H.A. Denmark, Edward A. Ueckermann, U. Karg, Salvatore Ragusa, S.K. Gupta and Vikram Prasad.


Bayan A, Merheb B (2006) Descriptions of two new phytoseiid mites (Acari: Mesostigmata: Gamasina) found in a grapevine orchard from Lebanon. Syst.Appl. Acarol. 11: 51-56.
Chant D.A., McMurtry J.A. (2007) Illustrated keys and diagnoses for the genera and subgenera of the Phytoseiidae of the world (Acari: Mesostigmata). Indira Publishing House, 220pp.
Coleman C.O., Lowry J.K., Macfarlane T. (2010) DELTA for Beginners: An introduction into the taxonomy software package DELTA. ZooKeys 45: 1--75.
Denmark H.A.,Evans G.A. (2011) Phytoseiidae of North America and Hawaii (Acari: Mesostigmata). Indira Publishing House, 451 pp.
Dallwitz M.J. (2009) Overview of the DELTA System. http://delta-intkey.com/www/overview.htm.
El-Banhawy E.M., Knapp M. (2011)Mites of the family Phytoseiidae Berlese from Kenya (Acari: Mesostigmata). Zootaxa, 2945: 1-176.
El-Banhawy E.M., Irungu L., Mugo H. (2009) Survey of predacious mites (Acari: Phytoseiidae) inhabiting coffee trees in Kenya with descriptions of some new species - Acarologia, 50: 121-137.
Faraji F., Bakker F., Roig J. (2008) A new species and two new records of Phytoseiidae (Acari: Mesostigmata) from Spain. Rev. Iber. Aracnol., 16:105-111.
Faraji F., Roig J., Bakker F. (2011) Some new records of Phytoseiidae from South-West Europe with description of a new species From Spain (Acari: Mesostigmata). Internat. J. Acarol., 37: 331-346.
Moraes G.J., McMurtry J.A., Denmark H.A., Campos C.B. (2004) A revised catalog of the mite family Phytoseiidae. Zootaxa 434: 1-494.
Stathakis T.I. and Papadoulis G.T. (2012) New records of phytoseiid mites from Greece with description of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) creticus sp. nov. (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Int. J.Acarol. 38(2): 116-119.
Tixier M.-S. 2012. Approaches to assess intraspecific variations of morphological continuous characters: the case study of the family Phytoseiidae (Acari: Mesostigmata). Cladistics, 1-14 online first DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-0031.2012.00394.x.
Ueckermann EA, Zannou ID, Moraes GJ, Oliveira AR, Hanna R, Yaninek JS (2008) Phytoseiid mites of the tribe Typhlodromini (Acari: Phytoseiidae) from sub-Saharan Africa. Zootaxa 1901: 1-122.
Ueckermann EA, Jalaeian M, Saboori A, Seyedoleslami H (2009) Re-description of Typhlodromus (Anthoseius) khosrovensis Arutunjan, first record for Iran (Acari: Phytoseiidae). Acarologia 49(1-2): 23-27.
Wu W-N and ou J-F. (2002) Acari ,Phytoseiidae p. 933-943. In: Forest insects of Hainan, Beijing: Science Press, 933-943.
Wu, W.-N., Ou J.-F. & Huang, J.-L. (eds.) (2009) Fauna Sinica, Invertebrata vol. 47. Arachnida Acari: Phytoseiidae. Beijing: Science Press, 511 pp.


The developpers, Marie-Stéphane Tixier, Serge Kreiter and Fabio Hernandes count on the contribution of the users to improve the further versions.