Mites and ticks belong to the class Arachnida, the arachnids, which include the spiders, harvestmen and the pseudoscorpions. Many members of Acari are microscopic, whilst others are larger reaching up to 20 mm in length. The mites are mostly free-living creatures and are not parasties, although some are, as are the ticks, which can suck the blood of most animals and pass on diseases such as Lyme disease. Acarines are extremely diverse. They live in practically every habitat, and include aquatic and terrestrial species. They outnumber most other arthropods found in soil, organic matter and leaf litter.
Many thanks to Stewart Bevan and Matthew Sheppard from the Facebook group Soil Biodiversity UK for their expert assistance in identifying and reconfirming species.