Velvet mites are arachnids found in soil litter known for their bright red colours but are often mistaken for spiders. They are active predators as grown adults but early instars are often parasites on insects.
It folds its legs when it comes in contact with a predator. The act is to protect the legs but also to place them in front of main internal organs. It can be clearly observed when picked up. It will unfold its legs and start moving once it feels that it's out of danger; and can be observed walking again after some minutes if left untouched.
The oil from red velvet mite "Trombidium grandissimum" is useful for paralysis. Also, due to its alleged ability to increase sexual desire, Trombidium is named as ‘Indian Viagra’ The mites are visible in large numbers early in the Monsoon season and so are also called rain mites in the subcontinent. In Gujarat, the term for velvet mite is "Gokal Gaay" or "Mama Ni Gaay". Bir Bahuti is used as an ingredient in traditional Indian medicine.The species Trombidium grandissimum is endemic to the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. Alternate names for it include Bir Bahuti, Birbaboti, Scarlet Fly, Lady Fly, Velvet Buchi (Telugu term commonly used in Hyderabad, India), 'Aarudra Purugu' (another Telugu word from around Hyderabad, India because one sees them only in the season 'Aarudra'), 'Sadhaba Bohu'('ସାଧବ ବୋହୁ', Oriya term meaning 'Bride of the Seafarer' owing to the red velvet coat and beautiful looks) and Rani Keeda (Hindi/Urdu: Queen Mite)
Lat: 22.91, Long: 72.56
Spotted on Jul 6, 2012
Submitted on Jul 6, 2012
and 28 other people favorited this spotting