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 Major Groups | Acarina / Acari (mites) | Oribatida (mites)


Major Group: Acarina
Minor Group: Oribatida

Descriptive Features:

  • body tear drop-shaped
  • body ranges from heavily sclerotized through to barely sclerotzed
  • all or just first two pairs of legs directed forward
  • some species with very long dorsal setae 
  • Size:

    Distribution: NSW, SA, Vic, +?

    Sensitivity Rating: none

    Functional Feeding Group: scrapers, shredders


    Lake Alexandrina, SA

    Ecology: Instream habitat: Most oribatid mites live in soil and litter but some live in trees and a few species are aquatic. They are generally considered to be semi-aquatic mites with many of the specimens collected from rivers being accidentally swept in from the river banks. The more aquatic species are found in standing waters and slower flowing areas of streams and rivers.
    Feeding ecology: Oribatid mites are generally shredders and scrapers feeding on living and dead plants, fungi, moss, lichens algae, bacteria and yeasts. Hydrozetes feed on aquatic plants, such as Salvinia and Lemma. Juveniles feed at the junction of the root and thallus while the adults feed on the dorsal and ventral surface of the thallus. Histiostoma species may be parasitic or free-living. Histiostoma papillata has been found in the fins and gills of juvenile Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii). It is possible that these mites cause injuries that lead to fish death.  
    Life history: This information refers only to Hydrozetes. Females lay their eggs the thallus tissue where they develop. Each moulting process lasts 3-5 days and can be divided into three stages; premoult, moult and post moult. The mite anchors itself during this time to the substratum and will not move. In the Northern Hemisphere, Histiostoma females lay their eggs approximately three days after their last moulting. The period from hatching to reproduction ranges from five to six days.


    Information Sources: Krantz & Walter 2009, Halliday & Collins 2002, Harvey & Growns 1998, Halliday 2000, Krantz 1978, Baker 1985, Behan-Pelletier 1999, ABRS 2009, Halliday & Collins 2002, Noge et al. 2005, Liana 2005