• More than 1500 species in 38 Families globally
  • Many Families of water mites include both aquatic and terrestrial species. They are a diverse group united by ecology rather than common evolutionary history

Identification Tips:

• Typically very small; <3 mm • Round, near spherical body with no visible segments • Often colourful and patterned • Two pair of widely spaced eyes • Rapid erratic swimmers • Adults have 8 legs plus two smaller finger like 'pedipalps' • Larvae have 6 legs plus two pedipalps

Life History:

• Larvae are parasitic on a wide range of aquatic invertebrates; often infesting 20-50% of the population
• Extremely tolerant of low dissolved oxygen levels in water
• Few predators eat them

Very SensitiveSomewhat SensitiveFacultativeSomewhat TolerantVery Tolerant

Primary Information Source:
Voshell, J. Reese. 2002. A Guide to Common Freshwater Invertebrates of North America. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company. Blacksburg, Virginia.