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Soil mite (Superfamily Oribatidae), SEM

Soil mite (Superfamily Oribatidae), SEM

C032/1591

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Credit

DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Soil mite (Order Acari, Group Acariformes, Suborder Oribatida, Superfamily/Family Oribatidae). Unknown genus. Soil mites belong to the family Oribatidae. They are also known as known as moss mites or beetle mites. Oribatid mites generally have low metabolic rates, slow development and low fecundity. Species are iteroparous with adults living a relatively long time. They feed on a wide variety of material including: living and dead plant and fungal material, lichens and carrion. Thus, they are important ecologically for increasing the breakdown rate of organic matter in the soil. Some orabaid mites are predatory, howeer none are parasitic. Magnification: x12 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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