From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Temporal range: Devonian–present
Unidentified mite (Phthiracaridae)
Scientific classification

Dugès, 1833
c. 200 families, 1,200 genera, 6,600 species


Oribatida (formerly Cryptostigmata), also known as oribatid mites, 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] There are currently 12,000 species that have been identified, but researchers estimate that there may anywhere from 60,000 to 120,000 total species.[2] Oribatid mites are by far the most prevalent of all arthropods in forest soils, and are essential for breaking down organic detritus and distributing fungi.[3]

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, three 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. Many species have a mineralized exoskeleton.[4][5]

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.[6]

Many species of oribatid mites require incredibly specific habitats, resulting in large diversity within the order due to the many niches they evolve to. Some species are especially suited to dry conditions, or on bare lichen covered rocks, but that largest section of Oribatida prefers the moist forest floor and its accompanying litter. There are a small number of species who have evolved to live on aquatic plants, often spending the majority of their life submersed underwater.[7]

E. O. Wilson has identified schizomids as among the "groups of organisms that desperately need experts to work on them."[8]


The order Oribatida is divided into the following taxa:[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Marjorie A. Hoy (2008). "Soil mites". In John L. Capinera (ed.). Encyclopedia of Entomology, Volume 1 (2nd ed.). Springer. pp. 3463–3466. ISBN 978-1-4020-6242-1.
  2. ^ Schatz, Heinrich; Behan-Pelletier, Valerie (2008), Global diversity of oribatids (Oribatida: Acari: Arachnida), Developments in Hydrobiology, 198, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, pp. 323–328, doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-8259-7_35, ISBN 978-1-4020-8258-0, retrieved 2020-12-01
  3. ^ Subías, Luis S. (2004-12-31). "Listado sistemático, sinonímico y biogeográfico de los ácaros oribátidos (Acariformes, Oribatida) del mundo (1758-2002)". Graellsia. 60 (Extra): 3–305. doi:10.3989/graellsia.2004.v60.iextra.218. ISSN 1989-953X.
  4. ^ Mites: Ecology, Evolution & Behaviour: Life at a Microscale
  5. ^ Calcium carbonate and calcium oxalate as cuticular hardening agents in oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida)
  6. ^ Edward W. Baker & G. W. Wharton (1952). "Oribatei Dugès, 1833". An Introduction to Acarology. New York: Macmillan. pp. 387–438.
  7. ^ SCHATZ, HEINRICH (2020-05-27). "

    Catalogue of oribatid mites (Acari: Oribatida) from Vorarlberg (Austria)

    . Zootaxa. 4783 (1): zootaxa.4783.1.1. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4783.1.1. ISSN 1175-5334. PMID 33056509.
  8. ^ Tyson, Charlie (May 7, 2019). "A Legendary Scientist Sounds Off on the Trouble With STEM". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  9. ^ 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). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 6, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2008.

Further reading[edit]