Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Mites

Mites are a large and diverse group of arthropods that are related to spiders. They are usually no larger than a few mm, but can be very numerous in the soil (>100.000 per m2). Oribatids are detritus eaters or graze of fungal hyphae. Predatory mites feed on other small animals in the soil (e.g. nematodes, collembolans or other mites). Some predatory mites, e.g. Gaeolaelaps aculeifer, are used in biological control of soil dwelling pests, e.g. thrips larvae. We use this species to model typical predators in the soil fauna.