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Temporal range: Palaeogene–present
Trombidium sp.
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Trombidiformes
Superfamily: Trombidioidea
Family: Trombidiidae
Leach, 1815 [1]

Trombidiidae, also known as red velvet mites, true velvet mites, [2] or rain bugs, are small arachnids (eight-legged arthropods) found in plant litter and are known for their bright red color.


While adults are typically 4 mm (0.16 in) in length, some, such as the genus Dinothrombium , may reach up to 12 mm (0.47 in). [2]

Their life pattern is in stages similar to other members of the Prostigmata: egg, pre-larva, larva, protonymph, deutonymph, tritonymph and adult (male or female). They usually have only one breeding cycle per year. [3]

They are active predators as grown adults. As early instars they are often parasites of insects [4] and other arachnids.

One well known species from Europe, Asia, and North Africa is Trombidium holosericeum . [5] The systematics of this group has been in flux and many former subfamilies of this are now raised to families within the Trombidioidea. [3] [6]

List of genera

According to Joanna Makol [7]

Human use

Dry Trombidium in a Chhattisgarh market Trombidium.jpg
Dry Trombidium in a Chhattisgarh market

The oil from the red velvet mite Trombidium grandissimum is used in traditional Indian medicine to treat paralysis. [8] [9]

Related Research Articles

<i>Trombicula</i> Genus of arachnids

Trombicula, known as chiggers, red bugs, scrub-itch mites, or berry bugs, are small arachnids in the Trombiculidae family. In their larval stage, they attach to various animals, including humans, and feed on skin, often causing itching. These relatives of ticks are nearly microscopic, measuring 0.4 mm (0.01 in) and have a chrome-orange hue. A common species of harvest mite in North America is Trombicula alfreddugesi; in the UK, the most prevalent harvest mite is Trombicula autumnalis.

Acariformes Superorder of mite

The Acariformes, also known as the Actinotrichida, are the most diverse of the two superorders of mites. Over 32,000 described species are found in 351 families, with an estimated total of 440,000 to 929,000 species, including undescribed species.

Zicman Feider

Zicman Feider (1903–1979) was a Jewish Romanian acarologist, a remarkable researcher and a gifted academic, whose work continues to influence by many generations of biologists, some of whom studied zoology under his supervision. His name as a researcher is forever associated with the enigmatic group of Acari a.k.a. Acarina, for which he arduously worked to perfect their taxonomy. Alone or in collaboration with his numerous disciples, he described and created 1 phalanx and 2 sub-phalanxes, 16 families and 8 subfamilies, 40 genera, 4 subgenera, and 145 species new to science. One could only compare professor Feider's work with that of Aristide Caradgea, who studied micro-Lepidoptera, attracting all the world researchers of that group to come in a pilgrimage to his modest place in Grumazesti, Neamț, Romania. Similarly, Feider's strenuous line of work encompassed Acari collections from all over Europe, St. Helen Island, North Korea, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Vietnam, Brazil, Venezuela, and Chile, making his lab in the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, of Iași, Romania, a Mecca of the world's acarologists.

The Raphignathoidea is a superfamily of the Acari (mite) Order Trombidiformes. It contains many predators of small invertebrates, while some are herbivores and others parasites.

Histiostomatidae Family of mites

Histiostomatidae is a family of astigmatid mites and branches basically in a phylogenetic tree of the Astigmata.

Trombiculidae Family of arachnid mites

Trombiculidae (; commonly referred to as chiggers, but also known as berry bugs, harvest mites, bush-mites, red bugs or scrub-itch mites, are a family of mites. Chiggers are often confused with jiggers - a type of flea. Several species of Trombiculidae in their larva stage bite their animal or human host and by embedding their mouthparts into the skin cause "intense irritation" or "a wheal, usually with severe itching and dermatitis",

<i>Trombidium holosericeum</i> Species of mite

Trombidium holosericeum is a species of mite in the genus Trombidium. It occurs in Europe, Asia, and North Africa and is commonly confused with other red mite species.

<i>Trombidium</i> Genus of mites

Trombidium is a genus of mite with about 30 described species.

Trombidium southcotti is a species of mite in the genus Trombidium in the family Trombidiidae. It is found in Iran.

Protelean organisms are widely regarded as a special class of parasites, often referred to as parasitoids. Protelean parasites refer to insects that begin the juvenile phase of their lives as parasites and ultimately destroy or consume their host to emerge as free-living adults. Defining attributes of Protelean parasitoids include a parasitic nature that is confined to the larval stage, destruction of a single host, and an independent mature stage. Other distinguishing characteristics include a body size similar to its host and a comparatively simple life style. Parasitoids and their hosts are typically in the same taxonomic class.

Mites of livestock

Mites are small crawling animals related to ticks and spiders. Most mites are free-living and harmless. Other mites are parasitic, and those that infest livestock animals cause many diseases that are widespread, reduce production and profit for farmers, and are expensive to control.

Abrolophus marinensis is a species of mite belonging to the family Erythraeidae. It is named after the Marine de Farimore, Corsica, where the species was first collected. A. marinensis differs from its cogenerate species in its palptarsus having 2 setae with a tufty tip. It particularly differs from Abrolophus longicollis in its shorter length measurements.

Abrolophus mirabelae is a species of mite belonging to the family Erythraeidae. It belongs to the group of species that have comb-like setae.

Allothrombium polikarpi is a species of mite belonging to the family Trombidiidae, first described from Greece.

Epipocus gorhami is a species of handsome fungus beetle in the family Endomychidae. It is found in Central America and North America.

<i>Trochoideus desjardinsi</i> Species of beetle

Trochoideus desjardinsi is a species of handsome fungus beetle in the family Endomychidae. It is found in Africa, North America, and Southern Asia.

Pterodontia flavipes is a species of small-headed flies. Adult males are 5.5–10.5 mm in size, while adult females are 5–9 mm. The larvae are thought to enter their host spiders at the leg articulations. First instar larvae of the species have also been recorded attacking the mites Podothrombium and Abrolophus.

Merophysiinae Subfamily of beetles

Merophysiinae is a subfamily of handsome fungus beetles in the family Endomychidae.

Abrolophus is a genus of mites in the family Erythraeidae. It comprises the following species:

<i>Allothrombium</i> Genus of mites

Allothrombium is a genus of mites belonging to the family Trombidiidae.


  1. Leach, 1815 : A tabular view of the external characters of four classes of animals, which Linné arranged under Insecta; with the distribution of the genera composing three of these classes into orders, and descriptions of several new genera and species. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, vol. 11, p. 306–400.
  2. 1 2 "Family Trombidiidae - true velvet mites - BugGuide.Net". BugGuide. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  3. 1 2 Zhang, Zhi-Qiang (1998) Biology and ecology of trombidiid mites (Acari: Trombidioidea) Experimental & Applied Acarology 22:139–155 PDF
  4. L. Conradt, S. A. Corbet, T. J. Roper, E. J. Bodsworth (2002) Parasitism by the mite Trombidium breei on four U.K. butterfly species. Ecological Entomology 27(6):651–659
  5. Mąkol, J.; Wohltmann, Andreas (2000). "A redescription of Trombidium holosericeum (Linnaeus, 1758) (Acari: Actinotrichida: Trombidioidea) with characteristics of all active instars and notes on taxonomy and biology". Annales Zoologici. 50 (1): 67–91.
  6. Makol, Joanna (2007) Generic level review and phylogeny of Trombidiidae and Podothrombiidae (Acari: Actinotrichida: Trombidioidea) of the world. Annales Zoologici 57(1): 1–194
  7. Makol, 2007 : Generic level review and phylogeny of Trombidiidae and Podothrombiidae (Acari: Actinotrichida: Trombidioidea) of the world. Annales Zoologici (Warsaw), vol. 57, n. 1, p. 1-194.
  8. Oudhia, P. 1999b. Traditional medicinal knowledge about red velvet mite Trombidium sp. (Acari: Trombidiidae) in Chhattisgarh. Insect Environment 5(3):113. Archived 7 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  9. Reddy, T. Karnakar (24 June 2015). "Rare breed of insects in huge demand - The Hindu". The Hindu.