This website is intended for everyone interested in spider, scorpions and other arachnids. It is the website of the South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA) a project coordinated by the ARC.


The order Acari, includes the mites and ticks and many of them are very small. Most groups are of economic importance to man’s environment, health and agriculture. Although many mite species are pests, some are beneficial to man and are used in the biological control of invasive plants or crop pests.

There are an estimated 40 000 named species of Acari globally. When the estimates of unnamed species are included, this might rise to between half to one million species. The known species from South Africa are estimated at 2 350 and this represents about 7 % of the world’s fauna.
Acari are distributed worldwide and form a major component of every ecosystem whether aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal or parasitic. They have a wide distribution throughout South Africa.

No Acari species are on the IUCN red list and little is known about their conservation status. Numerous mite and tick species are associated with a specific plant or animal species. With this type of association the Acari will receive indirect protection when the host is protected.


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Co-ordinators :
A.S. Dippenaar-Schoeman, e-mail: dippenaara