Poecilochirus carabi


Poecilochirus carabi

Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Subclass Acari (Mites & ticks)
Order Mesostigmata (Mesotigmatid mites)
Family Parasitidae (Predatory Mites)
Species Poecilochirus carabi G. & R.

Length 1 mm.

These phoretic mites don’t actually harm the beetle host, mainly Nicrophorus species, but grab a ride on them to the next burial site. These beetles have an important role of recyling carrion by burying beneath it for their larvae to feed. The hitchhiking mites hop off when the beetle has found a new carcass, and the mites then feed and breed themselves, their timing so perfect that when the adult beetles are ready to fly the new generation of mites hitch a ride with them in search of another dead animal.

On Common Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus vespilloides), South Staffordshire September 2020. © Peter Hillman.