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The predacious mite superfamily Bdelloidea (Prostigmata:Acari) is represented by two families, viz Cunaxidae and Bdellidae. The family Cunaxidae is the largest of the two families and is represented by 5 subfamilies, 27 genera and 403 spesies. Their raptorial palpi may be 3-,4- or 5-jointed. Subfamilies Bonziinae den Heyer, Coleoscirinae den Heyer and Cunaxinae Oudemans all have 5-jointed palps; subfamily Scirulinae Den Heyer have 4 -jointed and the subfamily Cunaxoidinae Den Heyer 3-jointed palps. They are medium to fast movers. Cunaxidae have a cosmopolitan distribution, occurring in topsoil, litter and on plants. In their embryological development they go through a 6-legged larvae> 8- legged protonymph> deutonymph> tritonymph> 8 legged adults. They feed on fungi, eelworms, other mites and small insects. Size (with extended palpi) up to 1100 microns. Colour mostly orange to reddish brown.

References: J den Heyer 1980. A classification system for the family Cunaxidae (Actinedida).Publications of the University of the North.Series A 23:


J den Heyer 1981. Systematics of the family Cunaxidae Thor 1902 (Actinedia:Acarida). Publications of the University of North. Series A24 :1-19