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The genus Tyrophagus comprises a group of primarily fungivorous mites, including the mould mites, commonly found in stored food products and decaying organic matter. They are also associates of various insects, or inhabitants of vertebrate nests. They are the most abundant and economically important mites inhabiting stored food and products. Some Tyrophagus species are also facultatively phytophagous and can cause economic damage to plants, including both ornamental flowers and vegetables grown in greenhouses.
Tyrophagus belongs to the supraorder Acariformes, order Astigmata, family Acaridae. Currently, it comprises about 35 species and is worldwide in distribution. In this contribution species of the genus Tyrophagus present in New Zealand are comprehensively revised, along with species found in Australia and other Oceanian countries. Ten species, including two new species, are described and illustrated from New Zealand.
Identification keys to adult males and females are given, along with taxonomic references, hosts/habitats and distribution data of each species. This will help identification and facilitate requests for rapid quarantine decisions from trading partners.
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