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Mites, together with ticks, belong to the subclass Acarina (also known as Acari) and the class Arachnida.

Mites are among the most diverse and successful of all the invertebrate groups.

They have exploited an incredible array of habitats, and because of their small size (some are microscopic) most go totally unnoticed.

Many live freely in the soil or water, but there are also a large number of species that live as parasites on plants or animals and even some that feed on mold.

Some of the plant pests include the so called spider mites (family Tetranychidae), thread-footed mites (family Tarsonemidae), and the gall mites (family Eriophyidae).

Among the species that attack animals are members of the Sarcoptic Mange mites (family Sarcoptidae), which burrow under the skin.

Demodex mites (family Demodicoidea) are parasites that live in or near the hair follicles of mammals, including humans.

Perhaps the best-known mite, though, is the house dust mite (family Pyroglyphidae).

Insects may also have parasitic mites.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Mite", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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November 26, 2015

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updated 12:56 pm ET