How and where can I find snout mites (Bdellidae)?

I’ve recently become very interested in mites within the family Bdellidae (commonly called snout mites), but I haven’t been able to find any information online about locating them in the wild. If anyone has any information on how or where I can find snout mites I would very much appreciate a point in the right direction.

Thank you for reading,

Welcome to the forum @aoww, thanks for joining us here!

Have you already looked at the map tab on ? From there you can zoom in to observations in your area of interest, click on them to bring up their details, etc.

You can also use the Filters at to find observations of snout mites in any geographic area, and see which other iNaturalist folks have observed them and identified them the most. You might be able to message some of them for more information. Comments in the individual observations may also contain some information that helps with your questions.


I second Jim’s excellent advice of using iNat as a tool to help learn how to find!

My experiences with Bdellidae has been finding them on driftwood at the beach. Typically very small, making observations of them is easier if you have macro capabilities, but even without they can be fun to have a go at.

[edit: @thebeachcomber SNAP!]

[further edit: a quick check, and the majority of my observationsof them have been on citrus foliage. You could also try sweeping a white tray through long grasses, I think at least one of mine turned up that way]


I found this bdellid late last year along the high tide line on a beach, snuffling around the beachwrack. Could be a good habitat to try for?

edit: @kiwifergus great minds…


I have looked at the Bdellidae map tab already, and it definitely gave me some great information that will be useful for locating them, such as which regions they are present in and what time of year they’re typically active.

I narrowed my search further by looking at the iNaturalist “About” tab. According to the sources I found there, Bdellidae are most commonly found in the top soil layer when there are ample prey species on which to feed.

I mostly made this post to find individuals who have seen these mites in the wild so I could ask some more specific questions about the location where they found the mites, such as what type of soil they found them in, how damp the soil was, what other organisms were present, etc.

iNaturalist has been extremely helpful in my research though, more so than any other website I have used thus far.

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Sadly I do not live anywhere near any beaches, but maybe its time I plan a trip if it means finding some of these little guys. Thank you so much for the help and info!

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Thank you so much for the response, I really appreciate your assistance! I’ll have to take a trip to a beach this summer, and hopefully I’m able to find some of these little guys.

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Do you have citrus trees or long grasses where you live? Try shaking the leaves of citrus over a white tray, or sweeping the white tray through long grasses.

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I do not have any citrus trees near me, but there are many fields of long grass where I could try using the white tray method.
In your experience, are Bdellidae more abundant on grasses that are in direct sunlight, or grasses found in shadier areas?

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on that I’m not sure. Try other trees too, just shake foliage over the tray and see what falls out. Shake it back over the tree again afterward to return the wee beasties to their homes.


OK, I’ll have to look on trees and grass when it warms up. Do you happen to remember approximately what the temperature was when you found them.

Summer, so likely warmth will help.

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I’ve found them in all the circumstances described above. But most often in my area, I see them under damp logs and on the soil layer.

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I’ve found them under wood near the shore of a brackish bay (San Francisco), crawling around on moss in a redwood forest in our winter wet season, and just on the patio of my suburban house in springtime, so a decently wide range of places!

I haven’t looked for them specifically, so find them only when they’re crawling around on the surface of things, or when I’m flipping logs looking for snails.

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