Arachnids are part of the arthropod phylum and include spiders, scorpions, mites and other creatures with exoskeletons and four pairs of legs. While arachnids differ in hunting techniques, most of them eat other invertebrates. Mites and ticks, however, live off the blood and tissue of a wide range of living creatures, including humans.
Spiders & Scorpions
Spiders and scorpions consume their prey in much the same way. Both use venom to paralyze their victims. Spider venom usually begins dissolving the prey from inside so the spider can simply suck up the liquefied creature. Scorpions use their large pincers to pull the paralyzed creature towards their mouth so they can suck out its body fluids. Most other arachnids feed in much the same way. Arachnids typically eat other arachnids, insects, small rodents, and even some small birds.
Ticks & Mites
Because ticks and mites are smaller than spiders and scorpions, their eating habits are different. Ticks attach themselves to a host creature, including humans, and gorge themselves on the host’s blood. Most ticks become noticeable on their hosts because their tiny bodies become swollen with blood. Mites can also act as parasites. For example, the rat mite feeds off rats. Other mites eat liquefied plants, fungus and other organic material.
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