Paleozercon cavernicolus, n.gen., n.sp., fossil mite from a cave in the Southwestern U.S.A. (Acari, Gamasida: Zerconidae), with a key to Nearctic genera of Zerconidae

Czeslaw Blaszak
James C. Cokendolpher
Victor J. Polyak

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A new genus and species of zerconid mite, Paleozercon cavernicolus, is described from a cave in southeastern New Mexico, U.S.A. The mites were preserved (probably during the late Pleistocene) after being entrapped in mineralized waters and coated by calcium carbonate on the surface of an active stalagmite. This is the first record of a fossil zerconid as well as the first record of the family from a cave in the New World. A taxonomic key (based primarily on females) to the genera of Zerconidae from the Nearctic Region is provided.