2009-14-077-080 - Systematic & Applied Acarology (2009)...

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(2009) 14, 77–80. 77 © 2009 ISSN 1362-1971 Review of the Third Edition of A Manual of Acarology BRUCE HALLIDAY CSIRO Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia. E-mail: Bruce.Halliday@csiro.au Every acarology laboratory in the world has a battered and dog-eared copy of the 1978 Second Edition of A Manual of Acarology , by Jerry Krantz. For over 30 years the Manual has been one of the fundamental tools of the trade in the science of acarology, second in importance only to a good microscope. But 30 years is a long life span for any textbook, and the Second Edition of the Manual was definitely starting to show its age. Science has moved on, and has brought with it an explosive increase in our knowledge of mites, both in the sheer numbers of known taxa, and in the development of new technologies that have revealed previously unsuspected levels of complexity and detail. Acarologists have been anxiously awaiting the Third Edition, as a consolidation of the enormous changes that have been going on in acarology at all levels. They will not be disappointed. The number of families of mites has increased from just over 400 in 1978, to an amazing 540 now. There can be very few other animal groups that have grown in family-level diversity at that rate. The growth in the number of taxa covered has been accompanied by significant advances in comparative morphology, genetics, molecular biology, and ecology. These increases in knowledge have been matched by an increase in the size of the Manual , from 509 pages to a hefty 807 pages. Jerry Krantz wisely decided that a full-scale revision of the Manual was a task beyond the abilities of any single author, so he recruited a team of co-authors, each of whom has contributed chapters in their special field of expertise. The list of authors is a truly impressive one. Most chapters are written or co-written by the two editors, with important chapters by Evert Lindquist, Mark Harvey, Jim Keirans, Ian Smith, David Cook, Roy Norton, Valerie Behan-Pelletier, and Barry OConnor. Most of the authors have taught at the Acarology Summer Program at Ohio State University, which has become an essential part of every acarologist's education. The lecture notes and teaching materials from that course are a rich lode of acarological knowledge, much of which has not been available in consolidated form until now. This new edition of the Manual draws on the wealth of information that has been built up through years of experience there, including feedback from the students, who put preliminary drafts of the identification keys through some rigorous testing. The first eight chapters include a brief review of the higher-level phylogeny of the mites and their relationship with other arachnid groups, which leaves open the question of whether or not mites are monophyletic. There is an expanded review of external and internal anatomy and the terminology G.W. Krantz and D.E. Walter (editors)
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2009-14-077-080 - Systematic & Applied Acarology (2009)...

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