Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Subclass Acari (Mites & ticks)
Suborder Oribatida (Oribatid mites)
Family Phthiracaridae (Phthiracarid mites)
Also called ‘box mites’ for they have large rectangular plates covering the genital and anal openings that rather resemble the leaves of a box, this particular individual is quite brightly coloured. There are 18 species in 3 genera in the UK species list for the Phthiracaridae family of mites.
Members of this family help with biodegradation in the soil which enhance the release of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
Discovered under loose bark on the ground and on Brown Soil Slug (Arion (Kobeltia) distinctus), rear garden, South Staffordshire. May 2021. © Peter Hillman.