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Mites Back to Target Insect

Phylum: Arthropods
Subphylum: Chelicerates
Class: Arachnids
Sub-class: Mites

These are arthropods that are morphologically very heterogeneous; in fact, there are mites with dimensions ranging from microns to centimetres. This heterogeneity could be due to the fact that it is thought that mites were the first animals to populate dry land. Generally, they initially have three pairs of legs and only after metamorphosis they do acquire another pair. There is also no marked segmentation of the body as in insects, however, different mouthparts have evolved depending on the type of life. Different orders can be distinguished involving species of agricultural interest, other hematophagous, others again are predatory and, finally, there are species adapted to foodstuffs (Acarus siro).
Among the direct damage of mites, particularly evident in foodstuffs, is the increase in humidity and temperature of the mass which often causes the proliferation of mould causing putrefaction, while there is also contamination of the mass itself from the faeces and remains of the mites that often result in allergic symptoms in the operators manipulating it.
One of the agents causing most damage in poultry farms is Dermanyssus gallinae, better known as the Poultry Red Mite. It is a hematophagous species that feeds at the animal’s expenses to complete its development cycle, causing conditions of stress that result in both quantitative and qualitative losses in egg production.

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