Mites, along with ticks, are small arthropods belonging to the subclass Acari (also known as Acarina) and the class Arachnida. The scientific discipline devoted to the study of ticks and mites is called acarology. In soil ecosystems, mites are favored by high organic matter content and by moist conditions, wherein they actively engage in the fragmentation and mixing of organic matter.
Types of mites
1. Plant Mites
Among the arachnids, Acari are the only group, which feeds on plants. Plant-feeding mites play an important role as agricultural pests of fruits, vegetables, forage crops, ornamentals and other agricultural crops. The damage caused by many species is still innocuous and often mistaken. Around 7,000 species of plant-feeding or phytophagous mites are known worldwide which occur in five families namely Tetranychidae, Tenuipalpidae, Tarsonemidae, Eriophyidae and Tuckerillidae. In India, a total of 660 mite species are known, out of which 169 (17 as major and 30 as minor pests) are represented by phytophagous mites.
Phytophagous mites due to their small size, high reproductive potential (tetranychids), survival on small quantity of food and habitat in small niches, increase their chances of survival and protect them against biotic/ abiotic stresses. Plant feeding mites belong to five families namely Tetranychidae, Tenuipalpidae, Eriophyidae, Tarsonemidae and Tuckerellidae.
Plant Mites Families
2. Honey Bee MitesApiculture forms an essential and vital component of sustainable integrated rural development programme as it improves the economy of farmers by enhancing the productivity of agricultural crops and honey production. Despite its great potential, beekeeping industry is facing several constraints, which needs immediate attention.
Honey Bee Mites Families