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Water Mite Larvae on Damselfly - Arrenurus

Water Mite Larvae on Damselfly - Arrenurus
Wood Spring 20 miles NW of Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona, USA
May 25, 2006

thanx very much! wow David..
thanx very much!
wow David...up till this single fellow i'd never even seen these before and i've played in ponds, lakes, and rivers since i was itty bitty...even TEACHING stuff about aquatic fresh water life! i'm now curious if u'r damsel fly aquired it's 'guests' while in it's larval form or after it'd become an adult?

Ah, the Wonderful World of Aquatic Biology!
Hi Sauria:
Glad you appreciate this stuff. The world of water mites and their hosts is well beyond my knowledge. I don't have much to satify your curiosity but my guess is that these mites came aboard the adult damselfly. I think diptera have both aquatic and terrestrial larvae so that doesn't solve the question. Jim was wondering about the molting question.

As you cruise around BugGuide you may come across other images of mites attached to odonates.

Thanks for your interest.

Much thanks to Jim & Barry.

So these are NOT strictly phoretic.

P. S.:
I did some reading about phorectic/parasitic lifestyle in mites and its complicated. Without expertise I don't want to suggest too much but it seems that the lifestyle can fall along generic, species, population and even groups within populations lines. And that's putting it simplistically.

Moved from Parasitengona.

Mites on Argia
These are larvae of the water mite genus Arrenurus (family Arrenuridae). Adults of aquatic Diptera are the most common hosts for water mite larvae, but some Arrenurus have switched to using odonates. These will engorge, then drop off back into the water, where they will continue the typical parasitengone life cycle, alternating inactive protonymph, active predatory deutonymph, inactive tritonymph, and active swimming adult.

Moved from Mites and Ticks.

Seething With Mites
I don't know why I didn't connect the two. Looking at the images under the subfamily, I'm reminded that the area I was in was seething with what I called "red*velvet*mites"; and maybe they're not connected. I don't have any images, they never stopped moving.

Thanks Jim & Eddie.

We're all learning :-)
Now we've got a home for these tiny red sacs full of mites, at least on the suborder level.

Images 93855, 84930 & 36531 - Most probably larvae of the family Thrombidiidae or Erythraeidae - Larvae of these families are parasitic, but the nymphs and adults are free living predators.

Dr. Eddie Ueckermann
Plant Protection Research Institute
South Africa

(Note: Since both groups are in suborder Parasitengona, that's where I'm placing these images. -Jim McClarin)

Moved from Mites.

Water mites?
Seems to me these would pretty much have to be water mites. I've seen them in their sacs on giant wat*er bu*gs. (Asterisks prevent this image from appearing in site searches for those creatures.)


Immature mites live in an attached sac.
There's a whole lot I don't know about mite biology but this is what I've been led to understand. The sacs can occur alone or in clusters like this. How they might remain attached through the molting process I can only guess.

So we're not exactly looking at mites but sacs containing mites?

I think so.
I can't see every little detail but I've never seen a mobile adult mite that was this color on an insect while I have seen a number of arthropods with little mite sacs of this color.

Ah hah!
I wondered why you kept doing that. I thought you were just a little buggy in the head!

method to my madness, yes
but also buggy in the head :-)