Identify all 38 known genera of flat mites from around the world.
Identify commonly intercepted species of Brevipalpus.
Identify all known and some new species of Raoiella.
Flat mites range from 250 microns to 400 microns in size, with a diversity of body shapes. The group varies a great deal in color also, with variations on red being the most common.
The morphological characters used to identify the genera and species of the family Tenuipalpidae include the number of setae on the body and the shape and type of setae.
A flat mite looks very different alive under a stereoscope compared to after it has been squashed flat and slide mounted. Often the 3D shape of the mite is lost in the process.
When dealing with mites, we are interested mainly in the morphology of surface structures, and DIC offers better interpretation of these features than phase contrast does.