I discovered the mite specimens on a Bembidion species (Bembidion cf. fumigatum, again an uncertainty in determination) from the waterside of a brackish water pond on the German East Frisian island Norderney. The waterside consisted of digested sludge and gravel areas, beetles were found close to the water edge. Only one out of about 10 beetle specimens was carrying A. magnificus mites (about 5 mite specimen). They were attached to the beetle’s thorax area. The exact position is unknown to me, as the mites run away when I examined the living beetle.
In Scutacaridae, normally females represent the phoretic dispersal stage. The genera Archidispus, Lamnacarus and Scutacarus are characterized by a female dimorphism. Phoretic and non phoretic females differ morphologically from each other. This dimorphism is also named phoretomorphism (e.g. Baumann 2018). Members of Scutacaridae are strictly fungivorous (e.g. Ebermann 1991a).
According to Ebermann et al. (2011), A. magnificus prefers specific beetle areas for attachment in the beetle thorax area. They also describe the mode of attachment: forceps shaped claws of legs I crasp into cervical and intersegmental membranes of the beetle.
The microscopic world of mites is characterized by complex and fascinating life strategies. Representatives of different mite groups (mites are considered diphyletic by some acarologists) use bigger organisms as carriers to become transferred from one short living habitat to another. This strategy is called phoresy. In that context, the mite is named phoront and the carrier is named transporteur by some authors.
Helmut Karafiat originally described Archidispus magnificus as a subspecies of Imparipes armatus and collected it in Franken (Germany) associated with Europhilus fuliginosus. He considered that mite species as rare. On the contrary to that, Ebermann et al. (2011) found A. magnificus in the Austrian State Carinthia (Kärnten) as the most frequent scutacarid species (besides A. sugiyamai) associated with ten different Bembidion (Coleoptera, Carabidae) species. According to the scientific paper above, all examined Bembidion species live in gravel habitats around waters.
Normally, a permanent slide preparation of mites requires that cuticle structures get separated from the internal tissue by clearing the specimens, for example using lactic acid. Then, the internal anatomy is of course not visible any more. I was fascinated by using the lightmicroscope and a living specimen on a slide in order to have all internal organs and structures visible. The almost translucent cuticle in Archidisput alloweed this on a good quality level.
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Famous phoretic mite taxa are Astigmata, Scutacaridae, Gamasina or Uropodina. This video is about a representative of the Scutacaridae. I determined the specimen of my footage as Archidispus cf. magnificus Karafiat, 1959, whereby the “cf” indicates my uncertainty of the correct identification.
I collected mite samples in connection with the annually event “Geo Tag der Natur” on 16 June 2018 on the East Frisian island Norderney.
The microscopic world of mites is characterized by complex and fascinating life strategies. Representatives of different mite groups (mites are considered di…
The sexes occur separately in acarids; i.e., there are both males and females. Most species lay eggs (oviparity), but in some parasitic ones the eggs hatch within the female, and the young are born alive. Many species also can reproduce by parthenogenesis, i.e., by development of unfertilized eggs.
Acarid, (subclass Acari or Acarida or Acarina), any member of the subgroup of the arthropod class Arachnida that includes the mites and ticks.
Sperm may be transferred either directly or in packets called spermatophores. The male spermatozoa may be introduced by the male copulatory structure (aedeagus) directly into the female genital opening or, as in some Astigmata, into a special female copulatory structure called a bursa copulatrix. The males of species that use the latter method may have special copulatory structures (e.g., suckers, spurs, or enlarged legs) for grasping the female. Some males produce a sealed packet containing spermatozoa (spermatophore) that is transferred to the female genital opening, either directly by the mouthparts of the male or indirectly by deposition on a surface, after which the female places it in her genital opening. Eggs begin to develop after fertilization. Although only a few eggs develop simultaneously in many acarids, large numbers develop at the same time in ticks and some mites. Eggs are deposited haphazardly on food material by many plant- and grain-feeding species and are hidden in the soil by predatory soil-inhabiting species. In one predatory mite, Cheyletus eruditus, females brood a small cluster of eggs and will drive other arthropods from them.
Mites and ticks are distributed throughout the world in almost every conceivable habitat and frequently occur in large numbers. They are recorded as high as 5,000 metres on the slopes of Mount Everest and as deep as 5,200 metres in the northern Pacific Ocean. More than 50 terrestrial species are known from the Antarctic. A few mites have been found drifting at high altitudes as atmospheric plankton.
The chiggers (Prostigmata), important pests of humans, also transmit scrub typhus (tsutsugamushi disease), a rickettsial disease occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.
Lyme disease of humans and some animals is caused by a spirochete transmitted by Ixodes dammini or other related species. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a rickettsial disease that occurs in the United States, is transmitted to humans by the bite of several species of hard ticks (Ixodidae), especially the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) and the American dog tick (D. variabilis). Relapsing fever, an important bacterial disease throughout the world, is transmitted to humans by certain species of soft ticks (Argasidae) of the genus Ornithodoros. Texas cattle fever is a widespread protozoan disease transmitted by cattle ticks (Boophilus). This disease, no longer prevalent in the United States because the tick has been eliminated, remains important in many tropical and subtropical countries. Various other diseases transmitted to animals by ticks include anaplasmosis, tularemia, Q fever, Colorado tick fever, hemorrhagic fever, and tick-borne encephalitis.
Eriophyid and tetranychid mites (suborder Prostigmata) include many plant-feeding species that frequently seriously injure or kill the host plant. Eriophyids are the only phytophagous acarids known to transmit plant viruses.
The beetle mites (Oribatida) are among the most numerous soil arthropods. These mites are important in the development of soil fertility. Some also act as intermediate hosts for important tapeworm parasites of domestic animals.
The mange, itch, or scab mites (Astigmata) occur on many different animals including humans. House-dust allergy is caused by species of Dermatophagoides, an extremely common mite.
Acarid, (subclass Acari or Acarida or Acarina), any member of the subgroup of the arthropod class Arachnida that includes the mites and ticks. Some mites are as small as 0.1 mm (0.0039 inch) in length, while the largest ticks are slightly more than 30 mm (1.18 inches) long. Nymphs and adults