(by Bruce Halliday)
The order Holothyrida includes large mites (larger than 2 mm) with a heavily sclerotised and highly-arched body, which feed readily on dead arthropods (Walter and Proctor 1998). The order includes about 25 species in three familes, and has a Gondwanan distribution. Only three species have been described from Australia, all in the family Allothyridae (van der Hammen 1983), but many other undescribed species have been collected and await study.
Hammen L. van der 1983. New notes on Holothyrida (Anactinotrichid mites). Zoologische Verhandelingen 207, 1-48.
Walter D.E. & Proctor H.C. 1998. Feeding behaviour and phylogeny: observations on early derivative Acari. Experimental and Applied Acarology 22, 39-50.