One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of or relating to the family Oribatidae or order Oribatida of small, dark, oval-bodied free-living mites, which have a thickened integument giving them a leathery appearance.
An oribatid mite.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in American Naturalist. From scientific Latin Oribatidae, family name from Oribata, genus name (P. A. Latreille in C. N. S. Sonnini Buffon's Hist. Nat. Insectes III. 65; perhaps from ancient Greek ὀρειβάτης mountain-ranging from ὄρει, dative singular of ὄρος mountain + -βάτης from the stem of βαίνειν to go + -της, suffix forming agent nouns) + -idae. Compare scientific Latin Oribatides, former order name, Oribatida, order name.
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