Random Arachnid: Velvet mite

Velvet mite (family Trombidiidae) photographed 10/01/2010 near Clayton Michigan.

This tiny red thing isn’t an insect, it’s an arachnid known as a velvet mite (family Trombidiidae).  It really stood out against the white flowers of this Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota, Apiaceae).

Velvet mite (family Trombidiidae) photographed 10/01/2010 near Clayton Michigan.

This specimen was probably on the hunt for insect eggs to eat.  In addition, young mite larvae are parasitic on adult insects.  It would be interesting to know what kinds of insects these mites prey upon.  There are thousands of species of velvet mites, and it seems likely that as a whole they attack a wide range of insect eggs and adults.  If any individual species target specific insect pests, however, it seems that they could have potential as biocontrol agents.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Entomology, Invertebrate Zoology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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