tiny orange/brown invertebrate positioned on thorax of ground beetle. I am unsure if this is a parasite or a mite hitching a ride!
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.
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?
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.
It's amazing how they interrelate with each other. Thanks John.
Lat/Lng: 56.3833, -2.8594
OS grid ref: NO470215