What species is this?

enter image description here


  • Location: India
  • These insects came out just after overnight rain.
  • They were all over the place.
  • Their body looks like velvet.

Are these insects poisonous?


1 Answer 1


As you might have noticed from its appearance, this is a red velvet mite. This is an arachnid (related to spiders) and not an insect.

The red velvet mite apparently does not bite or sting (according to this website), and it is also used for medicinal purposes in India, according to this Wikipedia image, so it is unlikely to be dangerous.

enter image description here

If you haven't seen it already, the webcomic The Oatmeal has an amusing take on some of the arthropod's mating habits.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 for factually correct, complete answer (with Oatmeal link). A bit more detail on those 'medicinal purposes': "the inhabitants of Chhattisgarh use this mite (in combination with other herbal drugs) for the treatment of more than 10 important diseases including malaria, urinogenital disorders, paralysis, etc. Its use as sexual stimulant is most popular in the region". $\endgroup$
    – arboviral
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 11:18
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I've noticed that whenever the locals believe fill-in-the-blank random plant/animal/insect/etc cures like 35 diseases and ailments and also bestows epic boners, chances are it does nothing. $\endgroup$
    – coburne
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 15:49

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