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beetle Velvet Mites

Identify It >   Creepy-crawlies Section >   Velvet Mites >

Scientific name:  Trombidium holosericeum

Size:  Approx 5mm long

Distribution:  Found throughout the UK

Months seen:  April to October

Habitat:  Gardens and deciduous woodland

Food:  Tiny invertebrates including other mites

Special features:  Velvet mites are tiny arachnids which are often seen wandering on bare soil or through grass.  They are bright red and covered in tiny hairs which gives them a velvet appearance - hence the name.

Like other mites, they have no antennae.  The front pair of legs are used as feelers to check where they're going.

Velvet Mite larvae are parasitic.  After hatching from eggs laid in the soil, they latch themselves onto passing spiders or insects and suck their blood.  They do not injure their hosts, and after a while drop off.  They then burrow into the soil, moult and emerge as adults.

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