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A web-spinning mite: (2012)


Image 01-06-12

Optical illusion, no stalk.

Image 01-10-12

Same mite as the one imaged in the organelles section below.

Image 01-10-12

Two sets of ocelli (one pair each side of head, as should be).

Coxal Glands

Image 01-10-12

Mounted in 70% isopropyl alcohol, imaged, and then respectfully disposed of.

Image 01-10-12

The above images show what appears to be a female mite, not yet fully matured, with some interesting features that I had not to date seen nor known about, such as the coxal glands in the front two legs (further on this below).  Contemporaneous with the microscopy of this mite, a rather weighty text arrived which hopefully will provide further insight into the insides of these creatures, not just external features.  A Manual of Acarology, 3rd edition (Eds. Krantz & Walter 2009) is the text and so far it has shown me things that are most fascinating.   From reading the manual it would appear that these are part of a gland complex.  Although viewed but not captured at distance, those glands most distal were spatially further away from the others prior to the image being taken.  It is noted in the manual that females of family members scent their webs to attract the males.  As these have very few webs, that would be an interesting mating strategy.