Velvet Mite - Trombidium holosericeum

    Description

    They are bright red and covered in tiny hairs, which gives them a velvet appearance - hence the name. Mites are arachnids, like spiders, and therefore have 8 legs. Like other mites, they have no antennae. The front legs are used as feelers to check where they're going. They are quite large mites, but are still only about 3 to 5 mm in length.

    NOTE: the images below are displayed in a red box to indicate that they have not been definitively identified as this species and are included for illustrative purposes only.

    Photo ID?
    Habitat

    In loose soil, on stones, garden paths etc.

    When to see it

    March to October but most often seen in spring when they emerge from hibernation.

    Life History

    Carnivorous, but a harmless species, feeding on small invertebrates and their eggs. They hibernate through the winter.

    UK Status

    Common throughout Britain though not well recorded.

    VC55 Status

    Thought to be fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map