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red mite - Erythraeidae? - Balaustium

red mite - Erythraeidae? - Balaustium
Baiting Hollow, Suffolk County, New York, USA
October 12, 2009
Found walking on a bag of horse manure that had been sitting around for a while.

Moved from Leptus.

Moved from Acariformes.

Erythraeidae: Letpus. I have a sneaky suspicion this morphotype is parasitic on opilionids as larvae.

I was too quick to judge this mite. I thought is was the masked Leptus I've seen before (e.g. 116622), but now I don't think the white is setal coloration, I think it's glare. Nevertheless, it's obviously Balaustium. See the raised structures that look like eyes? Those are sensory structures called urnulae, specific to Balaustium. This genus is not parasitic as larvae, instead feeding on pollen in all life stages, and are extremely common beasts often found running around on flowers or asphalt.

Sorry for the confusion!

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