Burying The Dead

I initially found this gloriously decorated beetle called the Common Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus vespilloides) on my kitchen windowcill. You may notice it has a couple of passengers hitching a ride on its pronotum. These are Poecilochirus mites which don't actually harm the beetle, but grab a ride to the next burial site. These beetles have... Continue Reading →

Aliens Amongst Us

It is quite amazing what you can find by lifting a leaf in the backyard and looking hard. This tiny little Snout Mite scurried about in circles and was hell to try and photo before it disappeared down a crack in a wall. This was the best image I got, and how strange it is.... Continue Reading →

About Mites And Ticks

Acari (mites and ticks) is a subclass of arthropods closely related to spiders. Most of these creatures are tiny measuring 0.08–1mm in length, but some may reach lengths of 10-20mm. Most mites and ticks have 8 legs, like their spider relatives, but some species have fewer. The head and thorax (cephalothorax in spiders) is broadly... Continue Reading →

About Plant Galls

I have always been fascinated by these strange yet sometimes most beautiful growths. Plant galls are something of an oddity when some folk first encounter them, others don’t even know they exist. Plant galls come in all shapes and sizes, and are formed by another organism using the plant as a host, using it for... Continue Reading →

Aceria myriadeum

A tiny mite produces the pimple-like spots on the leaves of Field Maple (Acer campestre). Each pustule measuring between 1-3mm high may contain several mites. The galls maybe fairly prolific, covering leaves almost in their entirety. The mites leave the gall through tiny holes in the underside of the leaf in autumn and overwinter in fissures... Continue Reading →

Eriophyes laevis

This is a mite which produces tiny red pustule galls on the upper surface of Common Alder (Alnus glutinosa). They are up to 2mm in diameter, and are green to begin with, becoming red or purple later on. They may cover the whole upper surface of the leaf, and in some cases this may prohibit growth... Continue Reading →

Sycamore Felt Gall

Aceria pseudoplatani This is a mite which produces felt-like galls on the surface of Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) tree leaves. On the top side of the leaf the gall is like a blister which is usually yellowish to begin which then turns brown, and underside it is cream or yellowish when fresh, browning as it ages. The... Continue Reading →

Aceria macrorhynchus

This is a mite which produces tiny red pustule galls on the upper surface of Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) tree leaves. They grow up to 6mm high. The females overwinter in crevices in the bark of the Sycamore tree, emerging in spring to feed on the new leaves, which is what causes the red raised spots. On... Continue Reading →

Red Spider Mite

I came across this mite by accident crawling up a wall in my rear garden. I am unable to determine the species,  but this tiny spider relative is so small (up to 0.6mm long) it is barely visible with the naked eye. Plus I was straining my lens, it was so tiny. They feed on... Continue Reading →

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