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Rombidium grandissimum may be tiny, but its power should not be underestimated. Since the diet of the Giant Red Velvet Mite consists of many pests, the mite could be used as a potential biological control tool. They are also vital to the rate of soil decomposition and greatly help maintain balance in soil ecosystems. The mites spend a majority of their time underground and only emerge after heavy rains to feed.
The tiny red velvet mite, belongs to the family Trombidiidae are not much bigger than the head of a pin. Despite this, it is one of the largest species of mites known to us. Furthermore, there are thousands of species of the red velvet mite itself. These mites are bright red in color and their bodies are covered with very fine hair to give them a velvety appearance. Hence, the name red velvet mite justifies properly.
In India, the oil from T. grandissimum is coveted. Natives believe the deep red oil holds many medical benefits, and people gather the mites during the short time they emerge from the soil to sell in the local markets. The oil is strongly believed to be an aphrodisiac. In northern India the use of this oil is used for treatment of paralysis. Current research regarding the oil from the Giant Red Velvet Mite looks promising.
In the Bugs and insects arround us photo essay.
Also by Saroj Swain
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