ZooKeys 361: 15–25, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.361.6389
New water mites of the family Hygrobatidae (Acari,  Hydrachnidia) from Turkey
Yunus Esen 1,†, Vladimir Pešić 2,‡, Orhan Erman 3,§, Yücel Kaya 3,|
1 Department of Science Education, Bayburt Faculty of Education, Bayburt University, 69000, Bayburt, Turkey
2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Montenegro, 81000 Podgorica, Montenegro
3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Firat University, 23119, Elazığ, Turkey

Corresponding author: Yunus Esen (esenyunus@hotmail.com)

Academic editor: A. Bochkov

received 4 October 2013 | accepted 28 November 2013 | Published 11 December 2013

(C) 2013 Yunus Esen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Citation: Esen Y, Pešić V, Erman O, Kaya Y (2013) New water mites of the family Hygrobatidae (Acari, Hydrachnidia) from Turkey. ZooKeys 361: 15–25. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.361.6389


In this study, the findings of three water mite species of the family Hygrobatidae collected from different streams in Turkey were evaluated. Hygrobates (s. str.) anatolicus Esen & Pešić, sp. n. is described as new for science. Hygrobates (Rivobates) diversiporus Sokolow, 1927 and Atractides (s. str.) nikooae Pešić, 2004, which were illustrated and thoroughly discussed, are new records for the Turkish fauna.


Acari, Hygrobatidae, water mites, new records, Turkey


After the family Arrenuridae Thor, 1900, the Hygrobatidae Koch, 1842 is the most species-rich in Turkey. So far, 42 species have been found in Turkey (Erman et al. 2010, Esen et al. 2013) belonging to the genera Atractides Koch, 1837 (31 species), Hygrobates Koch, 1837 (9 species) and Mixobates Thor, 1905 (2 species).

During a survey of the freshwater fauna of Kahramanmaraş, Malatya and Siirt Provinces, Turkey, three interesting species for the Turkish fauna were collected. This article aims to describe this material and contribute to our knowledge of water mites distribution in Turkey.

Material and methods

During fieldwork, water mites were collected by hand netting, sorted on the spot from the living material, conserved in Koenike’s fluid and dissected as described elsewhere (e.g., Gerecke et al. 2007). The holotype and some paratypes of the new species are deposited in the research collection of the Department of Biology, Fırat University, Elazığ, Turkey, other paratypes are deposited in the Museum of Natural History of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro.

The composition of the material is given as: (males/females/deutonymphs). All measurements are given in micrometers. For a detailed description and discussion of the characteristics of the genus Atractides and a detailed methodological introduction, see Gerecke (2003) and Davids et al. (2005). The following abbreviations are used: asl. = above sea level, Ac-1 = first acetabulum, Cx-I = first coxae, dL = dorsal length, H = height, L = length, %L = relative length, I-L-6 = Leg 1, sixth segment (tarsus), mL = medial length, P-1 = palp, first segment, S-1 = large proximal ventral seta at I-L-5, S-2 = large distal ventral seta at I-L-5, Vgl = ventroglandulare, V = ventrale, W = width.

Family Hygrobatidae Koch, 1842
Genus Hygrobates Koch, 1837
Hygrobates (s. str.) anatolicus Esen & Pešić, sp. n.



Figs 1, 2A–C, F, I
Material examined.

Holotype: male, dissected and slide mounted in Hoyer’s fluid, Turkey: Kahramanmaraş Province, Çağlayancerit, Göksu stream, 37°44'26"N, 37°22'21"E, 975 m asl., 28.10.2010. Paratypes: 33/49/0, same data as holotype, five males and five females dissected and slide mounted in Hoyer’s fluid.


Integument lineated. P-2 ventral margin straight, distally forming a right angle; P-4 ventral setae at the same level.


General features: Integument lineated, occassionaly lines formed as irregular ridges (Fig. 2C). Posteromedial margin of Cx-I slightly triangular, Cx-IV medial margin nose-like protruding. Acetabula arranged in an obtuse triangle; excretory pore unsclerotized, distance genital field – excretory pore L in male 110-241, in female 280-351. Palp: P-2 ventral margin straight, distally forming a right angle, denticles covering two-thirds of the ventral margin of both P-2 and P-3; P-4 ventral setae on the same level.

Male (holotype, in parentheses measurements of paratype, n = 5): Idiosoma L/W 960/810 (720–1115/645–940); coxal field (Fig. 1A) L/W 516/680 (495–612/600–745), median length of Cx-I + gnathosoma 395 (380–450); genital plate (Figs 1A, 2A) L/W 261/340 (210–285/315–380), gonopore L 137 (108–130), L Ac-1–3: 107 (102–112), 145 (140–150), 121 (115–125); anterior margin with a small, knob-shaped medial projection, posterior margin indented, with a short, rounded medial projection. Distance between genital field and excretory pore L 200 (110–241). Palp (Fig. 1B, 2F) total L 621 (586–665), dL: P-1, 40 (36–48); P-2, 157 (146–170); P-3, 136 (128–140); P-4, 218 (208–235); P-5, 70 (68–72). Chelicera L 487 (440–496), claw L 170 (157–172). Legs: dL of I-L-4–6: 257 (250–270), 266 (258–275), 243 (235–258); dL of IV-L-4–6: 391 (365–410), 397 (382–422), 346 (325–368).

Figure 1.

A–D Hygrobates (s. str.) anatolicus sp. n. (A–B male C–D female): A Coxal and genital field B Palp, medial view C Coxal and genital field D Palp, lateral view (Scale bars = 100 µm).

Female (n = 5): Idiosoma L/W 720–1507/540–1250; coxal field (Fig. 1C) L/W 495–610/550–847; median length of Cx-I + gnathosoma 400–460. Palp (Figs 1D, 2I) total L 668–749, dL: P-1, 47–51; P-2, 160–198; P-3, 144–160; P-4, 241–262; P-5, 78–80. Chelicera L 490–548, claw L 170–190. Genital field (Fig. 1C, 2B) W 330–418, genital plate L 230–268, genital opening L 210–280, L Ac-1–3: 110–120, 145–150, 126–130. Legs: dL of I-L-4–6 285–302, 295–310, 267–286; dL of IV-L-4–6: 430–456, 440–460, 361–385.

Figure 2.

A–C, F, I photographs of Hygrobates anatolicus sp. n. (A, F male B–C, I female), Göksu stream, Turkey D–E, G–H photographs of Hygrobates nigromaculatus Lebert, 1879 (D, G male E,  H female), Ohrid Lake, Macedonia: A–B, D–E genital field C detail of dorsal integument F–I palp.


Due to the shape of palp with a straight ventral margin of P-2, distally forming a right angle, the new species closely resembles Hygrobates (s. str.) nigromaculatus Lebert, 1879 (Fig. 2D–E, G–H) and Hygrobates setosus Besseling, 1942. The later species, for a long time was considered a morphotype of Hygrobates nigromaculatus (Viets 1960), but differs in size (median length of Cx-I + gnathosoma > 350 µm. Males: P-4 length > 140, genital plate length > 170 µm. Females: P-4 length > 165, genital plate length > 175 µm), life cycle with larvae parasitic on chironomid Diptera and habitat preference for running waters (Martin et al. 2010). The larger dimensions and habitat preference for running waters makes the new species close to Hygrobates setosus. However, presence of lineated integument will easily distinguished Hygrobates anatolicus sp. n. from two above-mentioned species bearing finely striated integument.


Due to the shape of the genital field, population from Göksu stream resembles populations of Hygrobates nigromaculatus and Hygrobates setosus from the Northern Germany (P. Martin pers. communication). However, population of Hygrobates nigromaculatus from the Ohrid Lake clearly differs in the shape of genital field (see Figs 2D-E), with the acetabula distinctly elongated, similar to those in Hygrobates longiporus Thor, 1898. The similar, longiporus-shape of the acetabula was recently detected in the population of Hygrobates nigromaculatus from Luxembourg (R. Gerecke pers. communication), suggesting that this character, in the Hygrobates nigromaculatus like-species complex, vary and can not be used in taxonomical separation. If possible the species should be included in a possibly molecular and morphological revision of the Hygrobates nigromaculatus like-species complex.


Named after the country of the type locality.




Known only from the type locality in Kahramanmaraş Province, Turkey.

Subgenus Rivobates Thor, 1897
Hygrobates (Rivobates) diversiporus Sokolow, 1927


Figs 3, 4
Material examined.

Turkey, Malatya Province, Doğanşehir, Avcapınar stream, 38°00'38"N, 37°57'56"E, 1335 m asl., 04.07.2004, (7/24/0).

Compared material.

Senckenberg Museum Frankfurt, Germany, Hygrobates (Decabates) quanaticola, holotype, ♂, P.J/15, Locality. Quanat near Rezazeh, 29.9.1974 coll. Schwoerbel; präp. J/14, Hygrobates (Decabates) quanaticola, ♀, Quanat near Rezazeh, 29.9.1974, Schwoerbel.


General characters. Posteromedial margin of Cx-I convexly rounded, medial margin of Cx-IV rounded; genital field with 8–13 pairs of acetabula. Ventral margin P-2 proximally concave, distally protruding in a nose- or knob-shaped projection bearing denticles, distal part of P-3 ventral margin covered by denticles, P-4 ventral setae distance 14–19 µm.

Male (n =3):Idiosoma L 805–890 W 690–783; median length of Cx-I + gnathosoma 232–240. Genital field (Figs 3B–D) L 188–191, W 242–273, posterior margin strongly indented. Gonopore L 88–90, distance between genital field and excretory pore 72–100. Palp (Fig. 3A): total L 366–388, dL: P-1, 30–32; P-2, 96–104; P-3, 69–70; P-4, 130–140; P-5, 41–42; chelicera L 210–225.

Female (n =5): Idiosoma L 815–1058 W 670–910; median length of Cx-I + gnathosoma 243–248; genital plate (Figs 3F–H) L 167–180, W 100–104. Distance between genital field and excretory pore L 83–110, genital opening L 200–250, maximum diameter of egg 170. Palp (Fig. 3E): total L 374, dL: P-1, 32–35; P-2, 100–103; P-3, 70–72, P-4, 140–142; P-5 43–45; chelicera L 225–247.

Figure 3.

A–H Hygrobates (Rivobates) diversiporus Sokolow, 1927 (A–D male E–H female): A Palp, medial view B, F Coxal and genital field C–D, G–H Genital field E Palp, lateral view (Scale bars = 100 µm).


Sokolow (1927) described Hygrobates diversiporus based on one male and one female specimen from a first order stream in Caucasus. Later on this species has been reported by Bader (1955) from the Ohrid Lake in Macedonia. The latter record of this probably rithrobiontic species from a lacustrine habitat, require confirmation for a better understanding of its geographical distribution. The specimens from Turkey agree well with the type specimen in the shape of male genital field orginally desribed by Sokolow (1927) in German as reverse heart-shaped (“verkehrt-herzförmig”), with an acute anterior angle and a indented posterior margin having a broad, rounded median notch.

The second member of subgenus Rivobates Thor known from Turkey, Hygrobates quanaticola Schwoerbel & Sepasgozarian, 1976, has been orginally described from Iran (Schwoerbel and Sepasgozarian 1976), and later on reported from Kayseri, Elazığ and Afyon provinces in Turkey (Erman et al. 2010). This species differs (based on re-examination of the holotype) from Hygrobates diversiporus in the shape of male genital field with irregularly convex posterior margin (compare Figures 3B–D and 4).

Figure 4.

Hygrobates quanaticola Schwoerbel & Sepasgozarian, 1976, male holotype: genital field (Scale bar = 100 µm).




Russia (Caucasus). New for Turkey.

Genus Atractides Koch, 1837
Atractides (s. str.) nikooae Pešić, 2004


Figs 5, 6
Material examined.

Siirt Province, Kezer stream, 37°57'42"N, 41°51'25"E, 545 m asl., 16.09.2012, (4/8/0); Başur stream, 37°57'42"N, 41°47'19"E, 525 m asl., 15.09.2012, (0/2/0).


General features. Integument dorsally finely striated; muscle attachment plates unsclerotized. Coxal field: mediocaudal margin of Cx-I+II with a slightly concave or convex area between the laterally directed apodemes of Cx-II. Palp: weak sexual dimorphism, P-2 and P-3 ventral margin straight; P-4 with maximum height near proximoventral hair, sword seta near distoventral hair, ventral margin divided by hair insertions 1:1:1. Genital field with Ac in a weakly curved line; excretory pore smooth; Vgl-1 separate from Vgl-2. I-L-5: S-1 and -2 strongly heteromorphic and widely distanced, S-2 strongly thickened in the basal third; I-L-6 strongly curved, basally thickened.

Male (n = 2). Idiosoma L 470–527 W 420–432. Coxal field (Fig. 5A) L 320–311, Cx-III W 340–360, Cx-I+II medial suture line L 105–108. Palp (Fig. 5B) total L 285–296, dL and %L (in parentheses): P-1, 26–28 (9.0–9.5); P-2, 64–67 (22.2–22.6); P-3, 68–70 (23.6–23.7); P-4, 97–100 (33.8); P-5, 30–31 (10.5); chelicera L 170–187. Genital field apple shaped, L 90–92, W 100, anterior and posterior margin with shallow indentations (Fig. 5A). Legs: I-L-5 dL 192–193, vL 110–113, H 45–47; S-1 L 95, S-2 L 66–68; S-1–2 interspace 40–42; I-L-6 L 160–165, H 22–23; dL ratio I-L-5/6 1.2.

Figure 5.

A–D Atractides (s. str.) nikooae Pešić, 2004, male: A Coxal and genital field B Palp, medial veiw C Vgl-1–2 D I–L-5–6 (Scale bars = 100 µm).

Female (n = 5). Idiosoma L 745–760 W 640–652. Coxal field (Fig. 6A) L 382–421, Cx-III W 465–480, Cx-I+II mL 135–142. Palp (Fig. 6B) total 417–445, dL and %L (in parentheses): P-1, 38–40 (9.0); P-2, 90–100 (22.1); P-3, 107–116 (30.0); P-4, 142–148 (33.4); P-5, 40–41 (9.5); P-4 more slender than in male; chelicera L 208. Genital field W 180–204, genital plate L 110–121. Legs: I-L-5 dL 263–280, vL 140–148, H 70–76; S-1 L 128–138, S-2 L 72–88, W 20–21 (ratio 3.6–4.2), ratio L S-1/2 1.78–1.57, S-1–2 interspace 70–72; I-L-6 L 217–230, H 28–30; dL ratio I-L-5/6 1.2.

Figure 6.

A–D Atractides (s. str.) nikooae Pešić, 2004, female: A Coxal and genital field B Palp, medial veiw C Vgl-1–2 D I–L-5–6 (Scale bars = 100 µm).


Due to the similar morphology of the genital field (relatively small Ac arranged in a weakly curved line, male genital field apple-shaped with anterior an posterior margin slightly indented), I-L-5 and -6 (S-1 and S-2 with relatively wide setal interspace, I-L-6 strongly curved and slender) and palp (without sexual dimorphism, P-2 ventral margin straight in the both sexes), the specimens from Turkey shows conformity with Atractides nikooae Pešić, 2004, a species known from both sexes from the Markazi Province (western Iran, Pešić et al. 2004).

Atractides (s. str.) diastema (Szalay, 1935), a weakly defined species from Hungary and Poland, known only from a female sex, differs from Atractides nikooae (in parentheses data taken from Gerecke 2003) in a weakly S-shaped ventral margin of P-2, ventral margin P-4 divided by hair insertions in sections 2:2:1, more stouter palp segments (L/H P-3 2.77, P-4 4.2 ), and a less heteromorphic setae S-1/2 (L S-1/2 1.3).




Iran (Pešić et al. 2004). New for Turkey.


This study was supported by FUBAP-1794 and FF-12-15 projects, Fırat University, Elazığ. The second author is thankful to Dr Peter Martin (Kiel, Germany) for getting valuable informations on the morphology of Hygrobates nigromaculatus and Hygrobates setosus. We are indebted to two anonymous referees for their careful work and valuable suggestions.

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