• Laboratoire des sols
  • Université de lorraine

Red spider mites



Classification (systematic position)
Source : INPN


Animal Kingdom
Embranchement (Phylum) : Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnid
Subclass: Micrura
Underclass: Acari


Morphological characteristics
Mite arachnids of the family Tetranychidae and Trombidiidae with a generally red and compact body (fusion of the cephalothorax and abdomen compared to spiders), 4 pairs of legs (characteristic of arachnids), sucking mouthpart. Some species can be quite large such as the silky trombidium ( Trombidium holosericeum ) which can reach up to 5mm.


Life cycle
Spiders, red mites or spiders go through several stages of metamorphosis before becoming adults. The larvae of trombidion mites are better known as chiggers.


Red spider mites are mainly predatory (they can sometimes be phytophagous, feeding on the content of leaf cells). The adults move in search of small animals and insect eggs. The larvae cling to a host which is often an insect (locust, diptera), a harvestman, a spider to feed on its blood and its lymph.


Natural predators or regulators
Red mites are preyed upon by other carnivorous mites and other arthropods.


Spider mites find themselves on the ground and move from one plant to another in search of prey or plants to eat.


Interests in the garden
The majority of spider mites are valuable allies in the garden because they can parasitize aphids in the larval state, thus regulating populations. In the adult state they are interesting predators.


Did you know ?
Spider mites can be yellow, green or even brown in color. Red is a color to warn predators of potential toxicity and thus discourage them.

Last change : 03/04/22
araignee rouge photo 520 700
Figure 1