Mites (Acari) are an incredibly fascinating group, but because of their small size, are easily overlooked. They are the most diverse group of Arachnida and include the smallest of all terrestrial arthropods. They occupy even more habitats than the Insecta, from fresh and salt water to forests, pastures, caves and even thermal springs and inside sloth’s rectums. Roughly 63 000 species of mites have been described today with a conservative estimate of 1 to 1.5 million yet to find. Enter MiteFind.

MiteFind (Miniscule Invertebrates to Enable Further Investigation of Nature’s Delights) is a BINCO workgroup with a goal to identify and catalogue mite diversity across the world step by step. We aim to search as many places as possible, at both small and large scale. We are especially interested in updating the current species records and contributing to mite taxonomy with new species descriptions.  We will travel across the land, searching far and wide. To catch them is our real test, to ID them is our cause.

Most mites are minuscule, barely perceptible to even the sharpest eyes, but size is a poor guide to importance
David. E. Walter & Heather C. Proctor

MiteFind was founded by two mite researchers: Jonas Merckx and Dominiek Vangansbeke. We are always looking for more samples across the world and happy to spread the love for mites. If you want to provide us samples (or want to find out what mites live around you) or want to join any of our projects, don’t hesitate to contact us at

Let’s find those mites!

Current project: Phytoseiids of Belgium


 2023 – now  

 Jonas Merckx, Dominiek Vangansbeke

 Publication: New records of phytoseiid mites (Acari: Mesostigmata: Phytoseiidae) in Belgium with an identification key to Belgian species. Acarologia. 2023.

Phytoseiidae are predatory mites and relatively well studied because of their practical use as biocontrol agents and fairly large size. The availability of good documentation makes this a nice walk-in group to the world of mites.

However, only 17 valid species of phytoseiids (Phytoseiidae Database) have been reported from Belgium while a relatively large number of phytoseiid species are reported in its neighbouring countries (France 80+ species, Germany 70+ species, The Netherlands +- 30 species). MiteFind already added 5 more species to the Belgian list (see publication above) and is adding more at a rapid pace. We use both opportunistic sampling and standardized sampling of leaves and plant material, sometimes collaborating with other BINCO workgroups e.g. at the abbey of Vlierbeek. We hope to regularly update the Belgian species list and expand internationally.