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Unknown habitat invader - Sancassania

Unknown habitat invader - Sancassania
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
March 5, 2012
Size: <2mm
My students noticed a dead pill pug in our classroom terrarium. He noticed small white balls all over the pill bug, so we put it under the microscope. Much to our surprise we found dozens of these bugs! What could they be?

Images of this individual: tag all
Unknown habitat invader - Sancassania Unknown habitat invader - Sancassania Unknown habitat invader - Sancassania

Moved from Acaridae.

Moved from Mites and Ticks.

Acaridae, probably
Most likely a member of the family Acaridae within the Astigmata. Many acarids enjoy eating dead arthropods.

Thanks for providing the species name; my students have some research to do. We have observed three instances of an isopod eating a mite and once an isopod laying on its back, rolling a dead young isopod around to get to mites. The students isolated this isopod and a few days later, observed it was dead and being devoured by dozens of mites!

Moved for expert attention
Moved from ID Request.

Mites of some variety, I expect. I'm not sure how much more can be said from this shot, but lets see what our experts can do with it.

Welcome to BugGuide!

Another image
Students will start researching mites Monday. Thanks for giving them a starting point. I am uploading another image, taken from a lower magnification, that may be of more use.

you must
be an excellent teacher! i am allways happy to see kids being taught a kind interest in things smaller than ourselves! Teach them to love spiders, my grandson is 12 and screams when he sees one! (bad genetics i guess, from his dad since i pick them up).

In my class
it is considered shameful to say "eww" to any critter. We currently manage an overflowing pill bug population and will add a planaria tank next term. When I can offer them more technology I'd like to see them uploading their own nature documentaries...Bug Wars Style.