Habitat: northern parts of IndiaStatus: No conservation concerns
Bir Bahuti, Birbaboti, Scarlet Fly, Lady Fly, Velvet Buchi, Rani Keeda (Hindi/Urdu: Queen Mite). Whatever name you want to use for the Velvet Mite (Trombidium grandissimum) works for me!
These fluffy arachnids are often mistaken for spiders, but make no mistake – they are much more than that. The mites come out in large numbers during Monsoon season in the Indian subcontinent (as if that time of year probably doesn’t suck enough, right?) and are used for a multitude of purposes in the area.
For example, Velvet Mites are used in traditional Indian medicine in two ways. The oil from the Bir Bahuti is useful in initializing paralysis in humans and, the mite has the alleged ability to increase sexual desire – that’s why
Trombidium is named as ‘Indian Viagra.’
Interesting little creature… view more stunning photos after the jump!