Acari: Ecology & Faunistics

Mites show the most diverse ecologies of any arachnid group and different groups exploit many different habitats and niches. A lot of mites are free-living predators or scavengers. Others show increasing trends towards parasitism with groups like ticks being specialist blood-feeders. Several mites live in intimate associations with other animals, be it in bird nests, within the respiratory system of vertebrates, or even in human hair follicles. Oribatids play a key role in soil detritivore communities. Several mites are plant-feeders, either on sap or pollen, while gall mites induce swellings on leaves. While most mites are terrestrial, several groups have reinvaded either salt or freshwater. The water mites (Hydrachnida) are the best known example of freshwater mites

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