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Mites - Tyrophagus

Mites - Tyrophagus
Perry County, Pennsylvania, USA
Size: TOO small
Can these be identified? I thought it was just mold growing on the walls of my roach enclosure, but today i realized its thousands upon thousands of these mites!!

Maybe I can take sample of them to look at under the microscope during lab on Thursday. But how do you carry a sample of something so small?

Images of this individual: tag all
Mites - Tyrophagus Mites - Tyrophagus

Moved from Mites and Ticks.

I think these are Tyrophagus (Acaridae). These mites never cease to amaze me. If you have a pet arthropod in an enclosure, and it dies, Tyrophagus can be found eating the carcass within a day! How did they get there?!? One possible answer is the deutonymph in Astigmata is known as a hypopus. Hypopi are heavily sclerotized (hard), resistant to desiccation, have no functional mouthparts, and have suckers on the venter. The suckers enable them to attach to other animals for dispersal (I've even seen hypopi on the legs of erythraeid mites!). Possibly they are phoretic on the dying arthropod, or maybe carrion associated flies? Who knows.

There's a nice bit of information on some [i]Tyrpophagus[/i} here:

Actually, most Tyrophagus spe
Actually, most Tyrophagus species don't form deutonymphs - the species that live around humans disperse in their feeding stages. Primitive Tyrophagus are ant-associates and still form deutonymphs.

Thanks Barry! Fascinating stuff. It's amazing that adult Tyrophagus are able to get into many of the places I find them.

Moved from ID Request.

The only mite collections I'v
The only mite collections I've done were environmental samplings using a shop-vac with an adapter on the nossel for trapping mites- probably over-kill for your purposes! I have had good results using a small paintbrush for transporting 1st instar ter"mites" into container. Use the side of the bristles rather than the tip, twisting the brush to roll them up off of the substrate. Transport in a well sealed container. Use a compound scope if you have one with a drop of water on the slide to help hold the specimen in place. Good luck!

The microscopes here are very good
I don't think I will have time today, though. Maybe tomorrow...