S: WHO – http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/resources/vector237to261.pdf (last access: 20 November 2016); https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef637 (last access: 20 November 2016).
N: 1. mite: “tiny animal, minute arachnid,” Old English mite, from Proto-Germanic miton, originally meaning perhaps “the cutter,” in reference to its bite, from Proto-Germanic mait-, from PIE root mai- “to cut”. Or else its original sense is “something small,” and it is from PIE mei- “small,” in reference to size.
2. Cognates: Middle Dutch mite, Dutch mijt, Old High German miza, Danish mide.
3. Any of numerous species of tiny arthropods, members of the mite and tick subclass Acari (class Arachnida), that live in a wide range of habitats, including brackish water, fresh water, hot springs, soil, plants, and (as parasites) animals, including humans. Parasitic forms may live in the nasal passages, lungs, stomach, or deeper body tissues of animals. Some mites are carriers of human and animal diseases. Plant-feeding mites cause damage by feeding on leaf tissues or by transmitting viral diseases. Scientists estimate that at least 45,000, and possibly as many as 48,200, different species of mites have been described.
Mites are small, often microscopic in size: the smallest is about 0.1 mm (0.004 inch) in length and the largest about 6 mm (0.25 inch). They usually have four pairs of legs. In general, they breathe by means of tracheae, or air tubes, but in many species, respiration takes place directly through the skin.
4. Stored grain insect pest.
S: 1 & 2. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=mite (last access: 30 October 2014). 3. EncBrit – http://global.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/386007/mite (last access: 30 October 2014). 4. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 30 October 2014).