Phthiracarid, Oribatida (Foto O. Ball/

Phthiracarid, Oribatida (Foto O. Ball/

Important groups of „soil mites“ are the Oribatida, Gamasina, Uropodina, Astigmata and Prostigmata – in soil samples Oribatida and Gamasina usually dominate.

Moss mites – Oribatida

I identify Oribatida of agricultural and grassland sites on species level. These sites are often dominated by species like Tectocepheus velatus sarekensis oder Opiella nova which are resistant against mechanical disturbances.

Oribatida are characterized by their strong sclerotisation and feed on a wide range of food sources like litter and soil fungi. However, some oribatid species also feed on other soil animals as nematodes.

Gamasina mites – Gamasina

In contrast to Oribatida, Gamasina are typical predators feeding on several soil fauna groups as Collembola and Nematoda. Large Gamasina taxa as the genus Pergamasus feed on other soil arthropods (e.g. Collembola)

Oppiella nova, Oribatida (Foto Mark Maraun)Gattung Pergamasus sp., Gamasina (Foto Janet Wissuwa)