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Uropodina deutonymphs on Aphodius fimetarius Close-up of some phoretic deutonymphs of some Uropodina mite species, attached to the venter of an Aphodius fimetarius, clearly showing the pedicels created by the mites to attach themselves.  Aphodius fimetarius,Coleoptera,Phoresy,Uropodina,nl: Roodschildveldmestkever,phoretic mites Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Uropodina deutonymphs on Aphodius fimetarius

Close-up of some phoretic deutonymphs of some Uropodina mite species, attached to the venter of an Aphodius fimetarius, clearly showing the pedicels created by the mites to attach themselves.

    comments (7)

  1. Really awesome shot! It never occurred to me that the little hitchhikers actually attach themselves. Posted one month ago
    1. Be aware that this just goes for the Uropodina(!) The other phoretic mites often found on beetles, such as the overload on the Geotrupidae I uploaded yesterday, are running around on the host freely and you can see them do so while the host moves:
      Chock full o'mites A rather old image of mine that has been around on the internet, but hadn't made it to JD yet...<br />
A dung beetle so covered in phoretic mites that it clearly had trouble moving around.<br />
Even though these mites (probably some Poecilochirus sp.) are classified as Parasitiformes: Parasitidae they are not "parasitic" but 'phoretic' : They just hitch a ride to the next dung heap the beetle is going to visit. Geotrupidae,Mesostigmata,Parasitidae,Parasitiformes,Phoresy,Poecilochirus,phoretic mites

      The little red ones seen on various arthropods are parasitic and "attach" themselves by digging the mouth parts into the host for feeding (much like a tick):
      Rilaena triangularis with mites Rather old collage of a Rilaena triangularis carrying various parasitic larvae of a predatory mite about. Acari,Arachnida,Opiliones,Phalangiidae,Rilaena,Rilaena triangularis,nl: Voorjaarshooiwagen

      Posted one month ago, modified one month ago
      1. Interesting! I just assumed all phoretic mites moved around, while the parasitic ones stayed attached. The mites on this beetle were constantly in motion:
        Tomentose Burying Beetle (with Phoretic Mites) - Nicrophorus tomentosus This beetle was more like a "carry-on" beetle as it was covered in mites. These beetles have very sensitive antennae, which have olfactory organs that help them locate carcasses. However, unlike other burying beetles, this species has a unique technique - they eliminate the soil under a carcass, so that the carcass will then sink below the ground after which they cover it with loose soil and leaves. They typically eat the carcasses of small vertebrate animals, including moles, rats, and mice. Once they locate a food source, they first remove any hair/feathers, roll the carcass into a ball, and then spray it with a secretion in order to preserve it. The larvae eat regurgitated food from both parents and also feed straight from the carcass. The phoretic mites are beneficial for the beetles - they hitchhike to the carcass and then they eat maggots and fly eggs found in/on the flesh. So, they actually clean and remove from the carcass any potential competitors of the carrion beetle’s larva. Pretty cool example of mutualism.<br />
<br />
Habitat: I spotted two of these beetles feasting on some kind of dead, rotting critter on top of a large rock in a mostly deciduous forest. I spotted them because my kids and I usually rest and have a snack on this rock whenever we go on this particular hike. But, over the past few weeks, a fox has been leaving it's own "snacks" and feces on our rock. I'm guessing it's marking its territory. Now, the carrion beetles have moved in, thanks to the fox's "gifts".<br />
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https://www.jungledragon.com/image/71162/tomentose_burying_beetle_with_phoretic_mites_-_nicrophorus_tomentosus.html Coleoptera,Geotagged,Mutualism,Nicrophorus,Nicrophorus tomentosus,Summer,Tomentose Burying Beetle,Tomentose Burying Beetle (with Phoretic Mites),United States,beetle,carrion beetle,phoretic mites


        I am going to pay more attention in the future because I want to find some Uropodina.
        Posted one month ago
        1. On average those Uropodina are a bit smaller than the free moving ones - about half their size, roughly. Just to hone your focus ;o) Posted one month ago
          1. Thanks for the tip! Posted one month ago
  2. Not just interesting, also very well executed. Posted one month ago
    1. Thanks Ferdy :o) Posted one month ago

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