The family Carabodidae occurs worldwide.

The family Carabodidae includes 35 genera, 18 subgenera, 384 species and five subspecies (Subías 2023).


The adults are of medium size (350–600 µm long) and are brown or dark brown. The rostrum is rounded, and there is a pair of broad lamellae with a broad lamellar cusp on the prodorsum. The surface of the prodorsum and the notogaster has a rough sculpture. The notogaster is covered by foveae or tubercles. There are 10–15 pairs of setae on the notogaster. The legs have one claw (Weigmann 2006, Norton and Behan-Pelletier 2009, Behan-Pelletier and Lindo 2023).

Habitat and ecology

Species of the family Carabodidae live in conifer and leaf litter, in rotten wood, in lichens, bark, and moss, both on the forest floor and in arboreal habitat. They may also live on several kinds of fungi, especially on polypore fungi. They can also be found in peatlands, where they live in Sphagnum mosses, in lichens, and in grass. Carabodidae are primarily fungivores, which means that they feed on fungi, but some are macrophytophages, which means that they feed on higher plant material. Some are also microphytophages, that is, they feed on microorganisms, or even panphytophages, meaning they feed on all kinds of plant and fungal tissues (Behan-Pelletier and Lindo 2023). The gut analyses of Carabodes willmanni Bernini, 1975 showed fungivory with occasional feeding on moss and plant material, grass pollen, and arthropod fragments (Behan-Pelletier and Hill 1983).

Carabodidae reproduce sexually (Maraun et al. 2019). The development of two species has been studied (Pfingstl and Schatz 2021). Under field conditions, that is on trees, Carabodes labyrinthicus (Michael, 1879) developed from egg to adult, in 730 days (Wunderle 1991), and in the laboratory, at 15° C, in 168 days (Wunderle, 1992). In room temperature, another species, Carabodes polyporetes Reeves, 1991, developed from larva to adult in 70–84 days (Reeves 1991).


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Behan-Pelletier VM and Lindo Z (2023). Oribatid Mites. Biodiversity, Taxonomy and Ecology. CRC Press, 508 pp.

Maraun M, Caruso T, Hense J, Lehmitz L, Mumladze L, Murvanidze M, Nae I, Schulz J, Seniczak A and Scheu S (2019). Parthenogenetic vs. sexual reproduction in oribatid mite communities. Ecology and Evolution 9(12), 7324–7332.

Norton RA and Behan-Pelletier VM (2009). Suborder Oribatida. In: GW Krantz and DE Walter (eds.). A manual of Acarology, 3rd ed. Texas Tech. University Press Lubbock, 430–564.

Pfingstl T and Schatz H (2021). A survey of lifespans in Oribatida excluding Astigmata (Acari). Zoosymposia 20, 007–027.

Reeves RM (1991). Carabodes niger Banks, C. polyporetes n.sp. and unverified records of C. areolatus Berlese (Acari, Oribatida, Carabodidae) in North America. Canadian Journal of Zoology 6(12), 2925–2934.

Subías LS (2023). Listado sistemático, sinonímico y biogeográfico de los Ácaros Oribátidos (Acariformes, Oribatida) del mundo (1758−2002). Graellsia 2004, 60 (número extraordinario), 3−305. Updated 2023 – 18 actualization, 540 pp., access December, 2023.

Weigmann G (2006). Hornmilben (Oribatida). Die Tierwelt Deutschlands. 520 pp. Vol. 76, Goecke and Evers, Keltern.

Wunderle I (1991). Life-histories and notes on the behavior of tree-living oribatid mites. In: F Dusbábek and V Bukva (eds.). Modern Acarology, Vol. 2. Prague and SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, Prague, 529–535.

Wunderle I (1992). Die Oribatiden-Gemeinschaften (Acari) der verschiedenen Habitate eines Buchenwaldes. Carolinea 50, 79–144.