Gamasina mites (Acari: Mesostigmata) associated with animal remains in the Mediterranean region of Navarra (northern Spain)
Mites should not be overlooked as a forensic tool, as many are commonly associated with decomposing animal matter and are closely associated with specific insect carriers and habitats. It is necessary to increase our understanding of the diversity of mites that are found in human and animal remains, their geographical distribution, and their population dynamics. This work is the first study of the role of mites in forensic science in the Mediterranean region of Navarra (northern Spain). Samples were taken using three types of traps (96 modified McPhail, 96 modified pitfall, and 32 carrion on surface) baited with pig carrion during the period between 11 April and 24 June, 2017. Insects were collected in 100% of the traps and only 27% of them contained mites. Information on 26 species of mites belonging to seven families, their ontogenetic phoretic stage/s, their abundance, and presence/absence during the spring season of the study is given. The most abundant species collected were Macrocheles merdarius, Poecilochirus austroasiaticus, and Poecilochirus subterraneus. We are contributing 16 new records for the Iberian Peninsula: seven species of Parasitidae, three species of Macrochelidae, four species of Eviphididae, one species of Halolaelapidae, and one species of Laelapidae.