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See also: Acarus



Learned borrowing from New Latin acarus, from Ancient Greek ἄκαρι (ákari, cheese mite, tick).


  • IPA(key): /ˈæk.ə.ɹəs/
  • (file)


acarus (plural acari or acarina)

  1. (zoology, acarology) Any member of the subclass Acari (aka Acarina): thus, a mite or a tick; specifically, any mite of the genus Acarus.
    • 1658, Sir Thomas Browne, The Garden of Cyrus, Folio Society, published 2007, page 205:
      water strongly boiled; wherein the Seeds are extinguished by fire and decoction, and therefore last long and pure without such alteration, affording neither uliginous coats, gnatworms, Acari, hairworms, like crude and common water
    • 1868, Robert Niccol, The Sugar Insect, "Acarus Sacchari", Found in Raw Sugar, page 4:
      The number of Acari found in raw sugar is sometimes exceedingly great, and in no instance is the article quite free from either the insects or their ova (eggs).
    • 2003, G. Leigheb, Mite bites, Andreas D. Katsambas, European Handbook of Dermatological Treatments, Springer, page 342,
      Besides the acarus of human scabies (Sarcoptes scabiei hominis) (0.3-0.5 mm), many other acari which are parasitic on animals or which infest various plant species, foods, organic waste or soil may occasionally attack man (facultative parasitism vs. obligatory parasitism in the case of scabies).

Usage notes[edit]

  • The term and its two plural forms match, and are potentially confounded with, three different taxonomic names for two related taxa: genus Acarus (Linnaeus, 1758) and subclass Acari (Nitzsch), 1818), aka Acarina. The subclass comprises all mites and ticks, while the genus is a particular group of mites. Further complicating matters, the genus Acarus as originally described by Linnaeus included a wide assortment of species. As new genera were described and species moved to them, the definition of the genus changed each time.

Related terms[edit]


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