Epicriopsis Berlese, 1916,

Masan, Peter, 2017, A revision of the family Ameroseiidae (Acari, Mesostigmata), with some data on Slovak fauna, ZooKeys 704, pp. 1-228: 1

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Epicriopsis Berlese, 1916


Genus Epicriopsis Berlese, 1916 

Epicriopsis  Berlese, 1916a: 34. Type species: Gamasus horridus  Kramer, 1876, by original designation.

Epicriopsis  . - Evans 1963a: 229; Karg 1971a: 223; Bregetova 1977: 167; Karg 1993: 220.

Diagnosis (adults).

Dorsal shield heavily sclerotised and ornamented, with a pattern of conspicuous tubercles; these tubercles star-like, polygonal, sometimes reduced in size (in Epicriopsis walteri  ) or modified into small spines arranged into a rows (in Epicriopsis atuberculatus  ). Some dorsal shield setae (6-9 pairs) conspicuous, thickened, extremely long, pilose, and much longer than some of the shortest setae; dorsal shield with 22-28 pairs of setae. In female, sternal setae on sternal shield (st1, st2), soft integument (st3, st4), and epigynal shield (st5); setae st3 rarely on small and rounded pseudo-metasternal platelets (in E. atuberculatus  ). Female with anal shield, male with ventrianal shield bearing 3-4 pairs of opisthogastric setae (JV1 on or off the shield). Opisthogastric soft integument with 5-6 pairs of setae in female (JV1-JV3, JV5, ZV2; JV4 present or absent), and five pairs of setae in male (JV4 always absent). Corniculi unsclerotised, undivided, stout, with distal extension and obtuse apex; the apex sometimes with denticles. Fixed digit of chelicera with 3-5 teeth on proximal masticatory area (normally with three teeth, but with 4-5 teeth in species with sharply pointed epistome); at least one of cheliceral digits (fixed digit) with membranous structures. Palptarsal apotele usually three-tined. Genu III, and tibiae III–IV with two anterolateral and one posterolateral setae. Tarsi I–IV each with empodium and claws.


The genus Epicriopsis  was previously known from 14 named species ( atuberculatus  , baloghi  , berlesei  , horridus  , hungaricus  , jilinensis  , langei  , linzhiensis  , mirabilis  , palustris  , rivus  , stellata  , suedus  and walteri  ), occurring mostly in leaf litter, soil detritus, raw humus, fungi and moss, in humid habitats in Europe ( Karg 1971a, 1971b, 1993; Kandil 1978), Asia ( Ishikawa 1972, Iavorschi 1995, Ma 2002, Hajizadeh et al. 2013b, Ma and Lin 2016), North America ( Farrier and Hennessey 1993), South America ( Marticorena and Berrío 2014, Narita and Moraes 2016) and Australia ( Halliday 1997). The genus often comprises strongly hygrophilous species found in swamp areas, inundation zones, river beds and floodplain forests.

In the checklist below, ten species of this genus are recognised as valid. Among them, now I recognise five species occurring in Europe ( horridus  = berlesei  , hungaricus  , mirabilis  = rivus  syn. n., palustris  = baloghi  syn. n. and langei  syn. n., and suedus  ), with the new synonymies proposed after my examination of the type specimens and specimens collected in Slovakia. For specific remarks to the individual Epicriopsis  species and their synonyms see the checklist below.

The dorsal chaetotaxy of individual species occurring in Europe is not adequately described up to now. The two species ( rivus  and suedus  ) described by Karg (1971a) are known only on the base of illustrations and very short description as a part of an identification key. The dorsal shield bears an uncomplete set of setae in the illustrations of Epicriopsis horridus  , Epicriopsis rivus  and Epicriopsis suedus  by Karg (1971a). Therefore, I carefully checked the number of dorsal shield setae in available Epicriopsis  species. Epicriopsis hungaricus  , Epicriopsis palustris  and Epicriopsis mirabilis  (= E. rivus  ) possess 24 pairs of setae (j1-j6, J2, J4, z2, z4, z5, Z1, Z3, Z5, s1, s2, s4-s6, S3-S5), E. horridus  23 pairs of setae (j6 absent in comparison with previous three species), and E. suedus  28 pairs of setae (s6 absent in comparison with normal complement of dorsal setae found in most of Ameroseiidae  ).

Key to species of Epicriopsis  occurring in Europe (adults)

Partial keys to species of Epicriopsis  may be found in Karg (1971a, 1971b, 1993), Bregetova (1977), and Kandil (1978). The most complete key is that of Narita and Moraes (2016), based on adult females of the world species (not including Epicriopsis mirabilis  ). A new key to the genus is needed to introduce new differential characters and include only valid species and those exclusively reported from Europe. I found that the setation of several leg segments is unstable and relatively highly variable in studied species from Europe, namely Epicriopsis horridus  , Epicriopsis hungaricus  , E. mirabilis  , Epicriopsis palustris  and Epicriopsis suedus  . All these mentioned species can be reliably separated only with the help of leg chaetotaxy (see Table 1 and 2).












Epicriopsis Berlese, 1916

Masan, Peter 2017


Berlese 1916


Berlese 1916