harvestman with mites
No interactions present.
This is a spider not a harvestman as harvetman have only one body part, this has a clear head and thorax.
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Err, this is actually two harvestmen mating that is why it looks like a spider!! (check number of legs, pretty terrifying spider to have 14 legs - actually I can't see the other two but suppose they are there somewhere)
You know I did wonder about the number of legs, I just put it down to there being some out of focus, leg coloured vegetation, that'll teach me to jump to conclusions at nearly midnight!
It does raise an intersting point though; in birds it is always assumed that if an animal is ill and/or has a heavy parasite infestation then it is unlikely to be selected by a mate. Clearly this is not an issue with harvestman as I can not recall ever seeing any invertebrate with so many parasites and still alive.
Not sure what species of harvestman this is, but I did try to find out something about the mites, and discovered that "Harvestmen: The Biology of Opiliones (edited by Ricardo Pinto-da-Rocha, Glauco Machado and Gonzalo Giribet, Harvard University Press) is available on Google books - it has a huge amount of information on harvestmen, including this on mites:
Although some harvestmen can end up with lots of mites, they don't exhibit any stress as a result, and make no attempt to remove them.
Entomologist and biological recorder
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