Mites belong to one of the most diverse group of all the arachnids and can range in size from minute up to 1 centimetre. Due to their diverse appearance a general description is difficult to give.

Most species of mites are predatory and will feed on a variety of small invertebrates, while others are more herbivorous and often feed on plant sap, sometimes causing damage to agricultural crops and garden plants. Ticks are adapted to feeding on the blood of vertebrate animals such as humans, dogs or livestock.

Mites are found in almost all habitat types including terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments. Terrestrial mites are commonly found in soil or leaf litter, under the bark of trees or feeding on the leaves and stems of plants.

Both mites and ticks can be found living as parasites of other invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Most ticks are only discovered after they have attached themselves to a host animal.


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