Halarachne americana Banks

Caribbean Monk Seal Nasal Mite (Halarachne americana)  

The Caribbean Monk Seal Nasal Mite was a parasite, specialized to the now extinct Caribbean Monk Seal (Neomonachus tropicalis (Gray)) where they lived inside the respiratory tract of that seal species, their biology, however, is not fully understood yet.

The mites disappeared together with their host species when the Caribbean Monk Seal died out in the 1950s.


This genus contains at least two additional species which are still alive, the Grey Seal Nasal Mite (Halarachne halichoeri Allman) and the Hawaiian Monk Seal Nasal Mite (Halarachne laysanae Furman & Dailey), both apparently restricted to their own single seal species host.  



Depiction from: ‘Nathan Banks: A treatise on the Acarina, or mites. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 28: 1-114. 1905’  

(public domain)


edited: 20.09.2020