Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Review
Published: 2021-12-31
Page range: 77–84
Abstract views: 513
PDF downloaded: 5

How long do whirligig mites live? A survey of lifespan in Anystidae (Acari: Trombidiformes)

Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research, Private Bag 92170, Auckland, New Zealand, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Acari Life cycle development lifespan predatory mites Anystidae Prostigmata


The Anystidae are a family of over 100 species of predatory mites commonly seen in soils and on plants worldwide. A few species of genus Anystis have potential as biocontrol agents against some insect and mite pests. Herein I provide a review of the lifespan of the Anystidae as part of a series on the lifespans in the Acari. The full life cycle in this family includes six immature stages (the egg, prelarva, larva, protonymph, deutonymph and tritonymph) and adult males/females. Life history data are only available for a few species. Developmental times from eggs to adults (44 to 82 days at 21 or 22 °C) were reported for three Anystis species. The total lifespan was measured for only one species (Anystis agilis): 66 days at 21 °C. There are two to three generations per year for Anystis species in the field. Summer aestivation was reported for Anystis baccarum, either as eggs or tritonymphs; aestivating tritonymphs may have a developmental time and total lifespan of over 200 and 300 days, respectively.


  1. Baker, R.T. (1983) Predation of leafroller larvae by spiders and mites. Weta, 6, 22–23.

  2. Bernardi, L.F.D., Pellegrini, T.G. & Ferreira, R.L. (2012) New species of Neoteneriffiola (Acari: Trombidiformes: Teneriffiidae) from Brazilian caves: geographical distribution and ecological traits. International Journal of Acarology, 38 (5), 410–419.

  3. Chen, L.-L., Yuan, P., Pozsgai, G., Chen, P., Zhu, H. & You, M.-S. (2019) The impact of cover crops on the predatory mite Anystis baccarum (Acari, Anystidae) and the leafhopper pest Empoasca onikii (Hemiptera, Cicadellidae) in a tea plantation. Pest Management Science, 75, 3371–3380.

  4. Cheng, H.-Y. & Ming, W.-J. (1979) Population dynamics and biological control of Matsucoccus matsumurae Kuwana (Homoptera: Margarodidae). Acta Entomologica Sinica, 22 (2), 149–155 [in Chinese with English abstract]

  5. Cheng, -., Ming, W.-J., Ge, Q.-J. & Zhang, X.-G. (1983) Experiments on an integrated pest control of Matsociccus matsumurae Kuwana. Journal of Nanjing Technological College of Forest Products, 1983 (1), 11–29. [in Chinese with English abstract]

  6. Cuthbertson, A.G.S., Bell, A.C. & Muchie, A.K. (2005) Impact of the predatory mite Anystis baccarum (Prostigmata: Anystidae) on apple rust mite Aculus schlechtendali (Prostigmata: Eriophyidae) populations in Northern Ireland Bramley orchards. Annals of Applied Biology, 142, 107–114.

  7. Cuthbertson, A.G.S. & Murchie, A.K. (2003) The impact of fungicides to control apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) on the predatory mite Anystis baccarum and its prey Aculus schlechtendali (apple rust mite) in Northern Ireland Bramley orchards. Crop Protection, 22, 1125–1130.

  8. Cuthbertson, A.G.S. & Murchie, A.K. (2004) The phenology, oviposition and feeding rate of Anystis baccarum, a predatory mite in Bramley apple orchards in Northern Ireland. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 34, 367–373.

  9. Cuthbertson, A.G.S. & Murchie, A.K. (2007) A review of the predatory mite Anystis baccarum and its role in apple orchard pest management schemes in northern Ireland. Journal of Entomology, 4, 275–278.

  10. Cuthbertson, A.G.S. & Murchie, A.K. (2010) Ecological benefits of Anystis baccarum in an orchard ecosystem and the need for its conservation. International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, 7 (4), 807–813.

  11. Cuthbertson, A.G.S., Qiu, B.L. & Murchie, A.K. (2014) Anystis baccarum: An important generalist predatory mite to be considered in apple orchard pest management strategies. Insects, 5, 615–628.

  12. Geary, I.J., Merfield, C.N., Hale, R.J., Shaw, M.D. & Hodge, S. (2016) Predation of nymphal tomato potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli (Šulc) (Hemiptera: Triozidae), by the predatory mite, Anystis baccarum L. (Trombidiformes: Anystidae). New Zealand Entomologist, 39, 110–116.

  13. Gerson, U., Smiley, R.L. & Ochoa, R. (2003) Mites (Acari) for Pest Control. Blackwell Science, Oxford, 556 pp.

  14. Golovach, G.P. (1988) Peculiarities of egg and prelarvae development of the mite Anystis baccarum depending on temperature and humidity. Vestnik Zoologii, 1988 (4), 82–84. [In Russian]

  15. Golovach, G.P. (1989) Characteristics of the phenology of the predatory mite Anystis and its rearing under laboratory conditions. Vestnik Zoologii, 3, 84–86. [In Russian]

  16. Grandjean, F. (1938) Observations sur les Acariens (4C Ser). I. La prelarve d’ Anystis sp. Bulletin du Museum National D’ Histoire Naturelle, Paris, (2C), 10, 64–71.

  17. Grandjean, F. (1943) Le développement postlarvaire d’ “Anystis” (Acarien). Memoires du Museum National D’ Histoire Naturelle, 18 (2), 33–77.

  18. Grobler, J.H. (1962) The life history and ecology of the woolly pine needle aphid, Schizolachnus pini-radiatae (Davidson) (Homoptera: Aphididae). The Canadian Entomologist, 94 (1), 35–45.

  19. Halliday, R.B. & Paull, C. (2004) Assessment of Chaussieria capensis (Acari : Anystidae) as a predator of Halotydeus destructor (Acari : Penthaleidae). African Entomology, 12 (2), 286–290.

  20. Holm, E. & Wallace, M.M.H. (1989) Distribution of some anystid mites (Acari: Anystidae) in Australia and Indonesia and their role as possible predators of the cattle tick, Boophilus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). Experimental & Applied Acarology, 6, 77–83.

  21. Ireson, J.E., Holloway, R.J. & Chatterton, W.S. (2001) An overview of investigations into the use of predatory mites to control the lucerne flea, Sminthurus viridis (L.) (Collembola: Sminthuridae), in Tasmanian pastures. In: Halliday, R.B., Walter, D.E., Proctor, H.C. Norton, R. A. & Colloff, M.J. (Eds.), Acarology: Proceedings of the 10th International Congress. CSIRO, Collingwood, Australia, pp. 444–452.

  22. Khanjani, M., Hoseini, M.A. & Fayaz, B.A. (2014) Austroteneriffia khorramabadiensis n. sp (Agari: Teneriffiidae): a new species from southwestern Iran, with a description of the male. Acarologia, 54 (1), 69–79.

  23. Khanjani, M., Yazdanpanah, S. & Fayaz, B.A. (2013) Austroteneriffia shiraziensis sp nov (Acari: Teneriffiidae) from southwestern Iran, with description of male and immature stages. Zootaxa, 3683 (1), 35–50.

  24. Lange, A.B., Drozdovskii, E.M. & Bushkovskaya, L.M. (1974) Anystid mites—Effective predators of small phytophagous pests. Zashchita Rastenii, 1, 26–28. [In Russian]

  25. Liao, D.-Q., Liang, G.-W. & Cen, Y.-J. (2010) Effects of the predation of big red mite Anystis baccarum on tea red mite Oligonychus coffeae. Journal of Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (Natural Science Editon), 39 (2), 117–122 [in Chinese with English abstract]

  26. Livshits, I.Z. & Mitrofanov, V.I. (1981) Beneficial insects and mites in fruit orchards. Zashchita Rastenii, 1981 (6), 49–52. [In Russian]

  27. Meyer, M.K.P. (Smith) & Ueckermann, E.A. (1987) A taxonomic study of some Anystidae (Acari: Prostigmata). Entomology Memoir Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Republic of South Africa, 68, 1–37.

  28. Michael, P. (1995) Biological control of redlegged earth mite and lucerne flea by the predators Anystis wallacei and Neomolgus capillatus. Plant Protection Quarterly, 10, 55–57.

  29. Ming, W.-J., Ge, Q..-J. & Cheng, H.-Y. (1983) Studies on the predatory natural enemies of several species of Matsucoccus. Journal of College of Forestry Product Industry, 7 (3), 19–29 [in Chinese]

  30. Otto, J.C. (1992) A new species of Anystis von Heyden compared with Anystis salicinus (Linnaeus) (Acarina: Anystidae). International Journal of Acarology, 18, 25–35.

  31. Otto, J.C. (1999a) The taxonomy of Tarsotomus Berlese and Paratarsotomus Kuznetsov (Acarina: Anystidae: Erythracarinae) with observations on the natural history of Tarsotomus. Invertebrate taxonomy, 13, 749–803.

  32. Otto, J.C. (1999b) Revision of the genus Erythracarus Berlese (Acarina: Anystidae: Erythracarinae). Journal of Natural History, 33 (6), 825–909.

  33. Otto, J.C. (1999c) Systematics and natural history of the genus Chaussieria Oudemans  (Acarina : Prostigmata : Anystidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 126 (3), 251–306.

  34. Otto, J.C. (2000) A cladistic analysis of Erythracarinae (Acarina: Prostigmata: Anystidae), with the description of a new genus. Systematic Entomology, 25, 447–484.

  35. Otto, J.C. & Halliday, R.B. (1991) Systematics and biology of a predatory mite (Anystis sp.) introduced into Australia for biological control of redlegged earth mite. Plant Protection Quarterly, 6, 181–185.

  36. Saito, T. & Brownbridge, M. (2021) Efficacy of Anystis baccarum against foxglove aphids, Aulacorthum solani, in laboratory and small-scale greenhouse trials. Insects, 12 (8), 709.

  37. Schuster, R. & Schuster, I.J. (1966) Uber das Fortpflanzungsverhalten von Anystiden-Mannchen. (Acari, Trombidiformes). Naturwissenschaften, 53, 162.

  38. Sorensen, J.T., Kinn, D.N., Doutt, R.L. & Cate, J.R. (1976) Biology of the mite, Anystis agilis (Acari: Anystidae): A California vineyard predator. Annals of Entomological Society of America, 69, 905–910.

  39. Titov, D.A. (1987) Beneficial insects in the orchard. Zashchita Rastenii, 1987 (2), 56–57. [In Russian]

  40. Ueckermann, E.A. & Durucan, F. (2020) Teneriffia sebahatae sp. nov. (Acari: Trombidiformes: Teneriffiidae), the first teneriffiid mite from Turkey. Systematic and Applied Acarology, 25 (6), 1139–1146.

  41. Wu, H.-J. (1994) Preliminary studies on Anystis baccarum (Linnaeus) (Acari: Anystidae). Natural Enemies of Insects, 16, 101–106. [In Chinese]

  42. Wu, W.-J. (1991) Studies on predation behavior of the predaceous mite, Anystis baccarum L. (Acariformes: Anystidae). Transactions of the Ecological Society of Chinese Youth, 1, 254–258. [in Chinese with English abstract]

  43. Wu, W.-J. & Shen, S.-P. (1990) Preliminary observations on the control of Hemiberlesia pityosphila by Anystis baccarum. Natural Enemies of Insects, 12, 100 [in Chinese]

  44. Zeng, Z.-H, Zhou Z., Wei, Z.-J., Chen S.-B., You, M.-S. (2007) Toxicity of five insecticides on predatory mite (Anystis baccarum L.) and their effects on predation to tea leafhopper (Empoasca vitis Göthe). Journal of Tea Science, 27 (2), 147–152 [in Chinese with English Abstract]

  45. Zhang, Z.-Q., Fan, Q.-H., Pesic, V., Smit, H., Bochkov, A.V., Khaustov, A.A., Baker, A., Wohltmann, A., Wen, T.-H., Amrine, J.W., Beron, P., Lin, J.-Z., Gabrys, G. & Husband, R. (2011) Order Trombidiformes Reuter, 1909. In: Zhang, Z-Q. (Ed.) Animal biodiversity: an outline of higher-level classification and sur-vey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa, 3148, 129–138.

  46. Zhang, Z.-Q. & Hong, X.-Y. (2010) Xin Centenary and Progress in Chinese Acarology: an introduction. Zoosymposia, 4, 5–10.

  47. Zhao, Q. & Wei, D.-Y. (1991) Observation on the habits and density seasonal change of two predatory mites [Agistemus exsertus and Anystis sp.]. Natural Enemies of Insects, 13 (1), 11–15. [In Chinese]

  48. Zmudzinski, M., Skoracki, M. & & Friedrich, S. (2021) A new species of Teneriffiidae (Acariformes: Prostigmata) from Ethiopia. International Journal of Acarology, 47 (4), 317–326.