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Mites on stalks

Observed: 26th April 2013 By: Richard DicksonRichard Dickson’s reputation in InvertebratesRichard Dickson’s reputation in InvertebratesRichard Dickson’s reputation in Invertebrates
R0010652
Description:

For years these 'mites on stalks' have appeared on insects that I've found, usually in herbivore dung, though also in compost. They're about 1 mm long, very tough, and attached to the integument of the insect by a very strong thread. Common hosts are beetles such as Aphodius, Geotrupes, Hister though in the one shown it is on Tachinus subterraneus from my compost heap in Hampshire, April 2013.
Can anyone enlighten me? What are they? What is the relationship with the insect and the purpose of being attached thereto? Curiosity has got the better of me!

Identifications
  •  
    Likely ID
    A mite
    Confidence: It's likely to be this, but I can't be certain.
Species interactions

No interactions present.