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Mite ID - Atropacarus

Mite ID - Atropacarus
Norfolk, Virginia, USA
October 30, 2008
Size: ~0.20mm (est. )
Another set of images from my 'Litter Critter' series. I have taken a small sample of leaf litter and I'm going through it to see what I can find. This mite was so small that I couldn't see it, even with my illuminated magnifying glass. It was found by scanning small areas of a decaying piece of wood and taking random images with my camera and MP-E65 macro lens at 3x magnification.

All images are taken at 5x magnification and camera rig hand held (no tripod). These images are ~80% crops. Just a tiny part of the universe under your feet!

Images of this individual: tag all
Mite ID - Atropacarus Mite ID - Atropacarus Mite ID - Atropacarus Mite ID - Atropacarus

Phthiracaridae, probably Atropacarus --det. R.A. Norton
Moved from Phthiracaroidea.

Moved from Oribatida.

Moved from Mites and Ticks.

These are called 'box mites' because of their ability to withdraw their legs & tuck their heads in to form a pill or box (an ability that, in mites, is called 'ptychoidy')... kind of like a turtle or an armadillo.

Sadly (for me) I do not know enough about mite taxonomy past order (I can place things in a few families, but only with the help of the guide). This is a mite that belong to a family that as of yet does not have a page on BugGuide (as is the case with many oribatids).

Thanks Jonas...
Thanks for all of the great info on these mites! I have been out today getting even more images of some of these 'box mites'. I found one particular species which is between one half to one millimeter in size. This little mite appears to have flaps which close over its legs when withdrawn. Stay tuned, I will post them here when I get the time very soon. What a cool little critter!

Yayz! I think I found the where to put it taxonomically: Superfamily Phthiracaroidea... maybe in the family Phthiracaridae? I dunno what other families are like.

Examples of Phthiracaroids:

Those are great links!
I think you have it right, looking at the last link in particular. There doesn't seem to be a guide page for this superfamily though. Should I wait for further confirmation before requesting a page?

It is a page that does need adding at some point anyways, seeing as there are plenty of phthiracarids in north America, but the final say is up to you. :P

A sight of possible use...

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