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Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

National Moth Week was July 23-31, 2022! See moth submissions.

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

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Genus Balaustium - sidewalk mites

Spider -mite ? - Balaustium red mite - Balaustium Red mite - Balaustium red mite - Balaustium Velvet mite - Balaustium Balaustium? - Balaustium Large mites - Balaustium Balaustium ? - Balaustium
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Subclass Acari (Mites and Ticks)
Superorder Acariformes
Order Trombidiformes
Suborder Prostigmata (Prostigs)
Infraorder Anystina
No Taxon (Parasitengona - velvet mites (including chiggers) & water mites)
No Taxon (Erythraeina - long-legged velvet mites)
Superfamily Erythraeoidea (long-legged velvet mites)
Family Erythraeidae
Subfamily Balaustiinae
Genus Balaustium (sidewalk mites)
Other Common Names
concrete mites, pollen mites, red mites
Pronunciation
ba-LOW-stium
Food
All active stages (larva, deutonymph, adult) are predatory on other soft-bodied arthropods including insect eggs. However, several species have been shown to subsist exclusively on pollen. In fact, the most noticed species (synanthropic species found on concrete, as well as those that can be found on flowers) likely persist exclusively on pollen in nature.
Life Cycle
Most Parasitengona (water mites, chiggers, velvet mites, and relatives) are ectoparasites as larvae and then active stages (deutonymphs and adults) are predators. Balaustium have lost the parasitic association as larvae, and instead all life stages are predators. Exceptions to this rule are those Balaustium that can persist on pollen either facultatively or obligatorily.