Heethoff M., Bergmann P., Laumann M., Norton R.A.
in Acarologia, 53 (2013) 353-368. DOI:10.1051/acarologia/20132108
With about 10,000 described species and densities reaching 400,000 ind/m2, the Oribatida (without Astigmata) represent the most prevalent group of soil mites. However, with the exception of their taxonomy, many aspects of the biology of oribatid mites have been poorly studied. This might be explained in part by the previous lack of a model species. However, in the last 20 years, more and more non-taxonomic studies regarding development, genetics, morphology, chemical ecology and ecotoxicology have become available, with a significant number focused on the trhypochthoniid oribatid mite Archegozetes longisetosus. A well-defined laboratory strain of this pantropical parthenogenetic species was established in 1993 by one of us (RAN), and has since spread through numerous laboratories worldwide. In this review, we summarize the scientific achievements this lineage has enabled while becoming a model system for general zoology, ecology and evolution. © Heethoff M. et al.