kw4667's picture

Unidentified mite

Observed: 4th August 2013 By: kw4667kw4667’s reputation in Invertebrateskw4667’s reputation in Invertebrateskw4667’s reputation in Invertebrates
unidentified mite
unidentified mite
Description:

tiny orange/brown invertebrate positioned on thorax of ground beetle. I am unsure if this is a parasite or a mite hitching a ride!

Identifications
  •  
    Likely ID
    mite
    Confidence: It might be this.
Species interactions

Comments

John Bratton's picture

They hitch a ride and share

They hitch a ride and share the food of the beetle. A friend has been doing research on these, after noticing that if you remove the mite from its host, it runs around frantically until it gets back on.

kw4667's picture

mite

Thanks John, that's really interesting. Do you know what it's called? And do you know if there is any benefit to the beetle?

John Bratton's picture

The name is uncertain at

The name is uncertain at present. He is trying to find out if there are different mites species on different beetle species, but isn't getting any response from the mite taxonomist. Mites in his experiments will happily swap species so he suspects they are all the same species, incl. the ones on sexton beetles.

I don't know of a benefit to the carabid. It has been proposed that the sexton beetles benefit: they lay their eggs in carrion, and the mites apparently feed on fly eggs on the carrion, thus preserving the food source for the beetle larvae.

kw4667's picture

mite

It's amazing how they interrelate with each other. Thanks John.