In addition, it should be noted that during meiotic division, the diploid chromosome number(2n) found in somatic cells, is reduced to the haploid(n) number, found in the gametes or reproductive cells. It should also be noted that during meiotic division, a very important step called crossing over occurs, resulting in a re-shuffling of genes that leads to variation not only within a species, but, within a family. Homologous chromosomes align themselves in tetrads--groups of four and exchange pieces of DNA. This important stage only occurs in prophase during meiosis and not in mitosis.
Meiosis happens in reproductive cells, while mitosis happens in somatic cells.
After the process of mitosis are created two genetically identical cells, whose number of chromosomes per nucleus is 46, while after the process of meiosis are created four cells, called gametes or spores, whose number of chromosomes per nucleus is 23.
The process of mitosis consists of one divisions, while the process of meiosis consists of two divisions, meiosis 1 and meiosis 2. The phases of mitosis and meiosis have the same names (prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase) and meiosis 2 division is alike mitosis.