Ricinuleids of the World

Ricinuleids of the World has been designed to provide some taxonomic information on ricinuleids and a comprehensive list of the scientific literature.

Ricinuleid crawling across a leaf

What are Ricinuleids?

Ricinuleids are medium-sized tick-like arachnids with a separate sclerite (cucullus) anterior to the carapace, a pair of two-segmented chelicerae, four pairs of legs, of which the third pair of males are modified to transmit sperm, somewhat like a spiders pedipalp, and an ovate abdomen which lacks a terminal flagellum.

They are considered to be most similar to mites (Acari) as they share features including  only three pairs of legs in the larval stage.

Ricinuleids occur in tropical rainforests of central America and Africa.



There has been no comprehensive study of the phylogeny of ricinuleids.


Fossil Fauna

Fossil ricinuleids – all of which are placed in the suborder Palaeoricinulei – are known from Carboniferous and Upper Carboniferous deposits in Europe, North America and Asia.


This website contains published data up to the end of 2011.



Important references

  • Harvey, M.S. (2003). Catalogue of the smaller arachnid orders of the world: Amblypygi, Uropygi, Schizomida, Palpigradi, Ricinulei and Solifugae. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.



This website should be cited as:

Harvey, M.S. (2013). Ricinuleids of the World, version 1.0. Western Australian Museum, Perth. http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/catalogues/ricinuleids