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Giant Indian Velvet Mite

Giant Indian Velvet Mite
Photo Information
Copyright: samiran nandy (samiran88) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 834 W: 85 N: 1657] (10271)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-06-21
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D90, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-06-22 7:36
Viewed: 2526
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Rain's Insect
Just few days before my young friend Arindam (arindammitra89) inform me that he found Velvet Mites in a particular location at Santiniketan. I was move to that location to documenting their behavior. After a night long rain and next sunny day these mites are pop up from the soil.
My sincere thanks to Arindam .

Scientific Name Trombidium grandissimum
Genus Trombidium
Species grandissimum
Family Tetranychidae
Kingdom Animalia
Common Name Sadhaba Bahu, Indian Viagra

Trombidium grandissimum is a species of mite in the genus Trombidium, commonly called the Giant Indian Velvet Mite. The soft, brightly red body is covered with fine hairs, giving it a velvety appearance. The small eyes are located on stalks. Its bright red color results from carotenoids, warning predators about the toxicity of the mite (aposematism).
The Giant Indian Velvet Mite comes from where it says it does, particularly in dry areas. Loads of them pop up from the soil after the monsoons and can be seen scrambling around all over the place like lovely walking pillows. But like most pillows, they have a cold, dark side. They are arachnids, after all!

Velvet Mites are predators, feasting on other invertebrates and their eggs by way of their strong, pincer-like mouthparts. They're pretty good at keeping the pests off your plants, but they don't rise above a bit of cannibalism, too. They have 2 puny eyes at the end of stalks but they probably find prey by sensing chemicals and vibrations.
During the larva stage, T. grandissimum is a parasite. During the larva stage, T. grandissimum is a parasite. They have a broad range of hosts ranging from flies to spiders to moths, and in India the most common hosts are crickets. The larva sucks fluid through the feeding tube it inserts into the host for nutrients. They also utilize the host for dispersal methods. While the affects vary, overall survival and reproduction is affected by the Red Velvet Mites, but like most smart parasites rarely do they kill the host. Not only does the larva stage parasitize insects, but they are also known to parasitize adult forms of Giant Red Velvet Mites! As adults, T. grandissimum are predatory. They actively feed on termites, aphids, spider mites, and beetle mites. They are also known to partake in cannibalism and feast on each other!
Trombidium grandissimum measures in on average around half an inch. This makes it one of the largest mites known to date. Other species of the red velvet mite get fairly large as well.
The presence of red velvet mites is extremely important to the environment. These mites are part of a community of soil arthropods that is critical in terms of rates of decomposition in woodlands and in maintaining the structure of the entire ecosystem. By feeding on insects that eat fungi and bacteria, they stimulate the decomposition process.

Adult male mites release their sperm on small twigs or stalks. That ritual is followed by the male laying down an intricate silken trail to the sperm. Females spot these trails, then seek out the individual male. If he's to her liking, she sits in the sperm. But if another male spots one of these sperm gardens, he'll promptly destroy it and replace it with his own.

Information courtesy : Wikipedia, some books , Internet and Haraprasan Nayak's post.

nagraj, ramthakur, Hotelcalifornia, Hormon_Manyer, marius-secan, Miss_Piggy, CeltickRanger, anel has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Samiran, great macro of fantastic giant, wonderful colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2013-06-22 8:21]

First, I like the color contrast, beautiful color red of the mite and the rain drops..well captured image, lovely. tfs.

Seen this velvety creature after a long time, Mr. Nandy. I saw it for the first time some years ago when Sumon Sinha was active on TN. He is the most versatile Indian nature photographer in my reckoning.
Your macro of this very attractive creature is excellent in quality. The water droplets on the vegetation add great beauty to the composition.

Samiran da,
First of all thank you so much for the compliment.It is so kind of you.I am great full to give that info.

Seeing this picture, I was silent for few second.Never seen such kind of beautiful macro of Trombidium grandissimum. Excellent lighting and color.Magnificent sharpness.
Thank you so much for sharing.


Hello Samiran Da,
First time I am watching this specie.Nice capture.The way you demonstrate total story,it's really interesting.Thank you very much to you and Arindam.

Nice picture with excellent colour and details.Like it.
Thanks again Samiran Da,
Kind regards and respect,

Hi Samiran,
Breathtaking macro shot of a very spectacular insect. Impressive sharpness, many details on the plumage, excellent DoF and most of all awesome color contrast. A unique photo, something to be truly proud of. Bravo.
Best regards, László

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2013-06-22 10:14]

Hello Samiran,
Fantastic macro in superb sharpness and details. The colour contrast is gorgeous. Taken from the best POV. The water drops are very clear. Excellent composition. High quality image!

Hello Samiran,
Remarkable photo. This interesting insect have wonderful red colors. The contrast against the green background is superb. Very nice composition taken from a excellent low POV with perfect light and best clarity. Very interesting and useful photographers note....
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-06-22 15:47]

Hi Samiran,very interesting to see this big mite,i never seen before one so big,in my country there are only the small ones.Fantastic macro whit great details and very bright red,great choice of point of view too.Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano

Samiran da,
光線充足 使同樣的紅色中卻有著層次感的出現
構圖更是亮麗 綠意再加上許多露水 很有寫意

WOW! Fantastic macro Samiran! The composition, the colours and the sharpness are excellent! Amazing subject too!

Hallo Samiran
This is a fantastic picture ! It shows an creature that we don't see very often on Trek Nature. Details are crisp sharp, colours are beautiful, excellent composition. The mite looks really soft, I just want to stretch my hand and touch it ! It's also nice to see the green leaves covered with water droplets, and thanks for your very interesting note. Best regards.

Beautiful capture with natural colors and good sharpness.


Hi Samiran. Is it ever a rich velvet red colour with detail. Really well captured with a nice DOF. You framed it nicely. I especially like the small drops of water. Very cool picture indeed. Your colour saturations are perfect in this light. TFS Trevor

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2013-06-25 1:33]

Hello Samiran.
Great macro of this insect, with fine POV,excellent light, excellent sharpness, Details.
Regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • Tina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 60 W: 0 N: 132] (1427)
  • [2013-06-25 4:32]

Hello Samiran,
Lovely details on the little fluffy one :-) - never thought that this little insect have something similar with coat :-) ! awesome details all over in fact ! Also light is splendid! TFS Tina

Hello Samiran

Great macro of this vivid and all red colored insect,
fine POV and great DOF, excellent light,
great focus, sharpness, and details,
great contrast of the color tones between them, TFS


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-06-26 5:20]

Hello Samiran,
Most interesting posting. An excellent shot of this red mite, showing so many details. Why is it called giant, it doesn't look so huge.
Amazing the behaviour of males and females, in nature there are possibilties for every taste:-)
Thank's a lot

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2013-06-30 19:39]

Hello Samiran,
What an outstandind image of this tiny insect. This is difinitely something you don't get to see everyday and it is shown in a top quality image. Love the super fine detail and vivid yet natural colors. Super job!!!

Hello Smiranda,
This is an outstanding macro,amazing closeness,details and clarity.
Best regards,

Calibration Check