What with all the digression for ants, Canada Day, and the 4th of July, Australian mites have been few and far between here for awhile. So here is a toothy Australian predatory ologamasid mite to tide me over until I have more time. The genus was named after the great French acarologist, Claire Athias-Henriot.
UPDATE – Speaking of great French acarologists, and there have been many, Michel Bertrand, Seige Kreiter and their colleagues put together a Power Point presentation on French acarology for the 6th Symposium of the European Association of Acarologists last year. Great fun for anyone interested in the history of acarology (and a couple of my images are used for decoration – along with lots from others).
Re: Ologamasidae – the family that Athiasella belongs to – this is yet another example of an early derivative group (within the most successful radiation of the Mesostigmata) that shows very different diversities in the continents derived from ancient Southern (Gondwanan) and Northern (Laurasian) ‘supercontinents’. Ologamasids are rare and low in diversity in the north, but are a dominant groups of predatory mites in southern continent soils and have even managed to hang on in Antarctica (although just on the Peninsula).