The NCA-Acari is one of the largest mite collections in the Southern Hemisphere and compares well with other international collections. It comprises more than 120 000 slide-mounted specimens, and contains a wealth of information on mite diversity.

To make this vital scientific reference source and research tool more available to the research community, the following projects are presently underway:

  • the computerisation of the information in the collection

  • compilation of a list of type specimens

The mite collection in the NCA consists of two sections:

General mite collection

The NCA-mite collection at ARC-PPRI was established in 1959 and houses mainly slide-mounted specimens which consist of parasitic, plant feeding, predatory saprophagous and soil-living mites, with the emphasis on mites of economic importance. Of the 35 000 collection entries:

  • 10 509 are type specimens, representing 998 species

  • the remainder of the collection houses representatives of 47 families, 200 genera and 1 200 species

The Zumpt collection

In 1982 the Medical Research Council of South Africa donated the famous collection of parasitic mites of Dr. F Zumpt to the NCA-Mite Collection. It contains 5 680 entries, representing about 15 500 specimens with:

  • 1 267 type specimens, representing 300 species,

  • and more than 4 500 non-type specimen entries, representing 42 families, 288 genera and 535 species.

Dr Zumpt contributed immensely to the basic knowledge of parasitic mites of medical and veterinary importance.

Current activities

Upgrading of the collection

Since 1995 we are in the process of upgrading the mite collection, including remounting of specimens and resealing of slides with a more efficient sealant. We are also gradually changing the old storage of the slides from slide cabinets to more durable, practical and manageable plastic slide boxes.

New accessions

No surveys are currently undertaken, but material for the growth of the collection is obtained from biosystematic research projects currently in progress, and specimens obtained for identification for applied research, e.g. a survey of phytophagous mites on tomatoes in South Africa, and from material sent in for identification from South Africa and from various parts of the world.


A new electronic database application is being developed to upgrade the current electronic collection database.

Collection manager: Maggie Menyatso