Language: English with bilingual summary in English and Maori
Mites of the superfamily Raphignathoidea are biological control agents of spider mites, eriophyid mites, and scale insects in agriculture and forestry. The majority of the species are free-living predators, but a few are phytophages, feeding on moss, and symbionts or parasites of insects. The superfamily can be dated back at least 56 million years. It belongs to the supraorder Acariformes, order Prostigmata, and comprises about 770 species, and 57 genera in eleven families. They are worldwide in distribution, abundant in most of the geographical regions, and are even found in the Antarctic region. In this contribution the mite superfamily Raphignathoidea is comprehensively revised. Keys to world families and genera are provided. The taxonomy, biology, and ecology of world Raphignathoidea are briefly reviewed so the 76 species, including 21 new species, now recognised from New Zealand can be placed in context. The species belong to 20 genera (including 1 new genus) and 5 families. Known stages (of specimens available) are diagnosed, keyed, described, and illustrated with line drawings, and notes are provided on the taxonomic references, habitats, and distribution of each species.