Mites of this subfamily are restricted exclusively to the birds of the order Charadriiformes (Mironov and Dabert, 1995).
Feather mites of the subfamily Magimeliinae (Pterolichidae) parasitize sandpipers of the order Charadriiformes, being well adapted to live in conditions of strong airflow (Dabert and Ehrnsberger, 1999).
The placement of species into genera and families based on anatomical (including bone, muscle, and feather features) and molecular characters are well documented in the avian order Charadriiformes (shorebirds).
For example, during the sexual display of many gull species (order Charadriiformes) a certain type of preening is often seen where the bird makes an emphatic sweep with the bill under the carpal joints or through the scapulars ("preening," Tinbergen 1959).
This study uses the gull Larus dominicanus (order Charadriiformes) as the outgroup throughout.