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Old 02-05-2016, 07:12 PM
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Default Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

Hi everyone,

These erupted in my tank seemingly after I introduced some pillow moss from another viv; I don't have any inhabitants in the tank now. There are hundreds of them all over the substrate, but they tend to spend most of their time on the moss.

I'm weighing the option of CO2 bombing the tank, as I have a shipment of isopods and springtails arriving next week. What are your thoughts?

Any idea what these guys are? This is about as high quality as I can manage, these pictures are taken with my cellphone.

Thanks!
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

are they slow moving?

maybe mites or even ticks? especially if the moss was recently collected from the wild
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

They're extremely slow moving -- and the original sheet of pillow moss was collected in NY, so I suppose ticks are a possibility.

They're all incredibly small, smaller than a pencil tip and mostly white or light brown.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

I think those guys are mites. Inevitable, and (if they don't get too numerous) potentially helpful. Keep an eye on your springtail population, too.
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

The shape and slow movement suggest mites. If you stock the viv with Ranitomeya or pumilio, they will likely decimate the mite population in short order.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SLMT9DOgdY

This is what I have found to be in my viv. Don't know if there are similarly slow moving species. I find these on dead prey, and rotting fungus.

Supposedly this species eats live nematodes...

Anyone have experience with this particular mite?

I may do a separate topic for this.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

Apparently they love toad poop as well. (Pedostibes Hosii)
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

Quote:
Originally Posted by Branch77x7 View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SLMT9DOgdY

This is what I have found to be in my viv. Don't know if there are similarly slow moving species. I find these on dead prey, and rotting fungus.

Supposedly this species eats live nematodes...

Anyone have experience with this particular mite?

I may do a separate topic for this.

Thoughts?
The mites in the video look and move more like grain mites. I think they were misidentified in the video.
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Old 02-22-2016, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Harmful or Beneficial? Mite ID

There is a third group that is often missed in these questions/threads. They can be neither beneficial or harmful ... in other words neutral.

When enclosures are first set up they are devoid of anything that is pretty much competing for food or other resources so these initial booms should be expected. As other things become established and resources are consumed, the populations should crash and eventually establish some form of "equilibrium population". We see this with many organisms including fungi.

You could CO2 the enclosure and add the springtails and isopods only to have another outbreak of them as they may not be consuming the same resources as the added invertebrates.

To accurately identify the mite you'd need to examine a number of them under a decent stereo microscope. for a key see Dichotomous Key for Microarthropod Identification - Mites And Other Microarthropods

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