Mites are a highly adaptable group of Arthropoda that are related to spiders and scropions, have eight legs and are usually smaller than a full stop. Despite representing one of the most diverse groups within the animal kingdom (>20’000 species), mites are notoriously overlooked due to the diminutive size. Millions of dust mites live inside furniture and fabric in the average home. The dead bodies and excrement of dust mites can cause allergic reactions to household dust. Other mites are parasites, whereas soil mites form part of the great diversity of organisms that contribute to the break down of plant material.
This Watermite (Hydrachna sp.) lives predatory on the eggs of aquatic insects (Heteroptera). Long swimming hairs on rear legs allow the animal to swim.