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Unidentified mite (Phthiracaridae)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acari
Superorder: Acariformes
Order: Oribatida
Dugès, 1833
c. 200 families, 1,200 genera, 6,600 species


Oribatida (formerly Cryptostigmata), also known as moss mites or beetle mites,[1] are an order of mites, in the "chewing Acariformes" clade Sarcoptiformes. They range in size from 0.2 to 1.4 millimetres (0.008 to 0.055 in).[1]

Oribatid mites generally have low metabolic rates, slow development and low fecundity.[1] Species are iteroparous with adults living a relatively long time; for example, estimates of development time from egg to adult vary from several months to two years in temperate forest soils.[1] Oribatid mites have six active instars: prelarva, larva, 3 nymphal instars and the adult.[1] All these stages after the prelarva feed on a wide variety of material including living and dead plant and fungal material, lichens and carrion; some are predatory, but none is parasitic and feeding habits may differ between immatures and adults of the same species.

The Oribatida are of economic importance as hosts of various tapeworm species, and by increasing the breakdown of organic material in the soil, in a similar manner to earthworms.[2]


Oribatida is divided into the following taxa:[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Marjorie A. Hoy (2008). "Soil mites". In John L. Capinera. Encyclopedia of Entomology, Volume 1 (2nd ed.). Springer. pp. 3463–3466. ISBN 978-1-4020-6242-1. 
  2. ^ Edward W. Baker & G. W. Wharton (1952). "Oribatei Dugès, 1833". An Introduction to Acarology. New York: Macmillan. pp. 387–438. 
  3. ^ Luis S. Subías (2007). "Listado sistemático, sinonímico y biogeográfico de los ácaros oribátidos (Acariformes: Oribatida) del mundo (Excepto fósiles)" [Systematic and biogeographic list, with synonymies, of the oribatid mites (Acariformes: Oribatida) of the world (excluding fossils)] (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved January 5, 2008. 

Further reading[edit]