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Photo#637180
Unknown habitat invader - Sancassania

Unknown habitat invader - Sancassania
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
March 5, 2012
Size: <2mm

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

Moved
Moved from Acaridae.

Moved
Moved from Mites and Ticks.

Phthiracaroidea
I can't really see the plates, but they're either Phthiracarids or a Euphthiracarids. I can see one adult in one of the other images. It's kind of blurred and closer to the camera. That's interesting they were on a dead Isopod!

 
Sancassania.
These aren't oribatids, but Astigmata in the family Acaridae, probably the genus Sancassania. They commonly feed on dead arthropod carcasses where large populations build up and consume the soft tissue. See big fat females and lots of small juveniles in one photo. Next generation deutonymphs then disperse back into the soil and seek another habitat patch.

 
Thank you!
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!

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