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Mites - Trombidium holosericeum
Mites - Trombidium holosericeum


Mites and Ticks
Mites and ticks, also commonly known as acarina (Acari), are a subclass, in the phylum arthropods (Arthropoda), the subphylum Chelicerata and the class arachnids (Arachnida). Mites and ticks are generally divided into 3 superorders: Acariformes, Parasitiformes and Opilioacariformes. The orders of the Acariformes are: Astigmata, Oribatida, Prostigmata and Sphaerolichida. The orders of the Parasitiformes are: ticks (Ixodida), Holothyrida and Mesostigmata.
There are 546 families of acarina and around 50,000 species, found throughout the world. Some examples of acarina genera are: Sarcoptes, Dermatophagoides, Limnesia, Frontipoda, Dermanyssus, Ornithonyssus, Neotrombicula, Metatetrachnychus, Arrenurus, Demodex and Archegozetes. Some examples of species are: Sarcoptes scabiei, European house dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus), American house dust mite (Dermatophagoides farinae), Lebertia glabra, Limnesia acuminata, Limnesia angustata, Limnesia arevaloi ambulatoria, Limnesia arevaloi arevaloi, Rontipoda musculus, Dermanyssus gallinae, Ornithonyssus sylviarum, Neotrombicula autumnalis, Metatetrachnychus ulmi, Parasitus fucorum, velvet mite (Trombidium holosericeum), Acarus siro, Demodex brevis, Rhizoglyphus echinops, Tarsonemus laticeps and Archegozetes longisetosus.
Acarina can reach body lengths of 0.1 - 3 mm. While adult acarina have 4 pairs of legs their larvae have only 3 pairs. Their colouration and shape vary widely.
Mites and ticks live in diverse habitats however, they prefer warm moist environments. Most species live in the soil. Others live in the hair of animals, theirorifices or even their skin. Some species specialize in birds and their plumage. Other species are found in the vicinity of people, for example, in beds (place of preference), or upholstered furniture, carpets, textiles, etc.
The way of life of most parasitic mites varies considerably. Many species are very slow moving and use animals as a form of transport while sucking their blood. Even the diet of different species varies greatly. Mites live from bacteria etc... or from plants or plant parts, fungi, carrion, dead tissue (eg skin flakes) or fat.
Mites both carry and cause diseases and can trigger allergies (house dust mite). They can also cause damage where food is stored (Acarus siro). Some types of mites, however, are useful. Gamasid mites exterminate plant pests and some species are put to good use in the production of certain cheeses.
Further chapters of "Mites and Ticks"
- Trombidium holosericeum
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1. Mites - Trombidium holosericeum
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