Dr. Daniele Benfatti
 
Obituary
Daniele Benfatti 1957 - 2004 On 6 July 2004, Daniele Benfatti died unforeseenly from a cardiac infarction at the end of one of his typically active days after returning from an evening meeting involved in environmental conservation. We have lost a friend and colleague who was extremely focused, knowledgeable, careful in his scientific work, but always discrete, friendly and helpful. Daniele Benfatti was born on 31.08.1957 into a family of artisans in Quistello (province of Mantova). He grew up and attended the school in several places of this province. In 1976 he achieved matriculation standard at Ostiglia. After several years of studies in medicine, he changed and immatriculated in Natural Sciences at the University of Modena. He absolved the final examinations in 1991 and completed his studies with a laureate thesis on the morphology and life cycle of Hydrovolzia species, under the direction of Marisa Mari and Ivano Morselli. Due to the generally unfavourable situation for classical biologists, he then started to work in the pharmaceutical industry but continued to pursue his interests in natural history in many ways. He collected and determined watermites from various parts of northern Italy and from Corsica. He published, at regular intervals, papers dealing with systematics and taxonomy of Halacarids and lower Hydrachnidia and also on the faunistics and ecology of interesting habitats in his area (see below for a complete publications list). Recently he had expanded his interests into Palaeontology, studying holocene deposits of the River Po and become more involved in activities for environmental conservation. Daniele was married and leaves his wife and young son, aged seven. His interrupted studies will, as far as possible, be completed by involved colleagues and his collection deposited in a Natural History Museum in Northern Italy.
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Research Topics
 
His main research topics in the past year were:

1. The water mite fauna (mainly hyporheic) of the Tuscan - Emilian and Ligurian Apennines.
2. A water mite of the genus Stygothrombium, first record from Italy
3. Revision of the genus Acherontacarus (together with R. Gerecke).





Publications
 
Mari, M., Benfatti, D., Morselli, I. (1986): Indagine preliminare sulle Hydrachnellae (Acari, Prostigmata) dei laghi di Mantova. - Boll. Zool., 53: 98
Benfatti, D., Mari, M., Morselli, I. (1989): Copidognathus dactyloporus, a new freshwater species (Halacaridae, Acari). - Boll. Zool., 56(1): 99-104
Benfatti, D. (1990): Tassonomia delle specie europee del genere Hydrovolzia (Acariformes, Actinedida, Acari) e considerazioni sulla posizione sistematica della superfamiglia Hydrovolzioidea. - Tesi di Laurea in Scienze Naturali. UniversitÓ degli Studi di Modena: 118 pp.
Benfatti, D., Mari, M., Morselli, I. (1992): Halacaroidea (Acari, Actinedida) from four lakes of volcanic origin in Lazio (Central Italy). - Boll. Zool., 59(1): 105-111
Benfatti, D., Mari, M., Morselli, I. (1993): Le Hydrachnellae (Acari, Prostigmata) dei laghi di Mantova. - Atti Soc. Ital. Sci. Nat. Museo Civ. Storia Nat. Milano, 133(11): 121-138 (1992)
Benfatti, D., Gerecke, R. (1999): Remarks on the distribution, life cycle and larval morphology of Acherontacarus K. Viets (Hydrachnellae: Hydrovolziidae). - In: Bruin,J.; van der Geest, L.P.S. & Sabelis, M.W. (eds): Ecology and Evolution of the Acari: 473-482. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Tuzovskij, P., D. Benfatti & R. Gerecke (2001): The water mite family Acherontacaridae Cook, 1967 nov. stat. and diagnosis of the superfamily Hydrovolzioidea Thor, 1905 (Acariformes, Hydrachnidia). - Acarologia 41: 451-473.