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Old 01-05-2009, 06:05 AM
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Default Mite/micro-fauna comparison photos

I thought it might be nice to have some difinative photos of mites to showcase thier physical differences, especially the difference between parasitic and predatory mites.

The first picture is a common type of parasitic mite that can prey on the softer tissues of invertebrates such as fruitflies along with many others (isopds, millipedes,tarantulas,springtails,anything they can attach to). They are bulbous and have the head segment is the way to tell most appart, along with the shape of the 'body'. This easily differentiates them from other mites such as Phytoseiulus persimilis, Hypoaspis aculeifer, and Hypoaspis miles which actaully prey on the parasitic mites.
This creature is approximatley 1 mm in total lenghth, and here are shown preying on a tiny isopod.



This is a picture of a very small (.15-.2mm) Amblyseius sp. which is another common mite genus in our vivs

Sorry for the image quality, I donot have an adapter or my microscope. These are also predatory mites and help balance the population of microfauna.

This is a picture of mature Hypoaspis miles (bottom) in comparison to a springtail. To those without 20/20 and knowledge of them, all tiny flecks may look the same and cause unecessary panic. The adult springtail and predatory mite here are larger than the parasitic mites (unless the parasites have gorged themselves), and adults and move much faster.


My main reason for posting these pics was to illustrate the fact that many mites are quite similar unless looked at under magnification. They play a pivotal role in our vivs and are pretty important imo as predation is one of the keys to species diversity of microfauna.
I see alot of people on pet/hobbyist forums asking for help with potential problem bugs with only a description as they cannot photograph the bugs in question. Hopefully this will help answer some of those questions. If you have any identified pics of mites or other 'micro-fauna' please post them here. I'll ry to catch tiny inverts as I see of them to build a little bootleg id guide.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:47 AM
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Default Re: Mite/micro-fauna comparison photos

check out this thread.
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/foo...-personal.html
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Mite/micro-fauna comparison photos

Those are some awesome pics. I somehow missed that thread. It would be great to add those to the thread with the scientific names. A pic guide to these critters would be valuable imo for a comprehensive idea of what is 'good and bad' for the tank. In terms of what a well balanced system should have in way of microfauna. A good species diversity in the substrate of our vivariums makes a complete system imo. Akin to nice mature live and in a reef aquarium. I think Ed had good idea along those lines of using litter from outdoors unfettered to establish strong microfauna. I really think that some panamanian or peruvian leaf litter would be neat to experiment with. Throw raw jungle substrate and leaves into a big viv and see what
pops up and establishes. I've already called dibs on the product name live litter....... :-P
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: Mite/micro-fauna comparison photos

Do have any suggestions on getting the bugs out of the leaf litter to photgraph? I tried to use a Berlese funnel, but didn't have too much success.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: Mite/micro-fauna comparison photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by markbudde View Post
Do have any suggestions on getting the bugs out of the leaf litter to photgraph? I tried to use a Berlese funnel, but didn't have too much success.
-mark
When I saturate the soil, they seem to come out onto the glass in mass. I follow the trails left in the condensation and use a razor blade and sort of slide it under them in a motion going from bottom to top holding the blade at a very shallow angle. Another method I've used is to coax them onto a q-tip as they grip it very easily. After I get them on either the blade or q-tip, I put them in the freezer for a-few minutes which stops them but does not contourt or kill them.
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