New species of fossil oribatid mites (Acariformes, Oribatida), from the Lower Cretaceous amber of Spain
Abstract Mites are relatively common and diverse in fossiliferous ambers, but remain essentially unstudied. Here, we report on five new oribatid fossil species from Lower Cretaceous Spanish amber, including representatives of three superfamilies, and five families of the Oribatida. Hypovertex hispanicus sp. nov. and Tenuelamellarea estefaniae sp. nov. are described from amber pieces discovered in the San Just outcrop (Teruel Province). This is the first time fossil oribatid mites have been discovered in the El Soplao outcrop (Cantabria Province) and, here, we describe the following new species: Afronothrus ornosae sp. nov., Nothrus vazquezae sp. nov., and Platyliodes sellnicki sp. nov. The taxa are discussed in relation to other fossil lineages of Oribatida as well as in relation to their modern counterparts. Some of the inclusions were imaged using confocal laser scanning microscopy, demonstrating the potential of this technique for studying fossil mites in amber. A table, including all the known Mesozoic oribatid mites preserved in amber, is included.