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1693 Views 5 Replies Last post: Jan 6, 2015 8:15 PM by MikeHardman RSS
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Jan 5, 2015 8:32 PM

microscopic creatures on fungus

I was identifying lichens on a small twig yesterday and found what I take to be two small (~1mm) blobs of a yellow jelly fungus. Turning my little USB microscope onto these I noticed these fancy, colourful little bugs crawling over them. I estimate them to be about 0.2mm in length.

 

I wonder if anyone could suggest what they might be?

 

regards, Alan

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    Jan 5, 2015 8:45 PM (in response to AlanS)
    Re: microscopic creatures on fungus

    They make me think 'mite nymphs', based on some familiarity with red spider mites, but that's just a thought not really an ID.

     

    Mike

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    Jan 6, 2015 7:15 AM (in response to AlanS)
    Re: microscopic creatures on fungus

    Robert,

     

    That's a thought, certainly by association with the fungi.

    But the specimens look rather transparent. Surely if they were ciid beetles, they would be opaque (and bearing in mind beetles not having nymphs)...

     

    Mike

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    Jan 6, 2015 8:39 AM (in response to AlanS)
    Re: microscopic creatures on fungus

    I'm with mike - juvenile mites. I'm impressed that you have manage to image these with a usb microscope, which make/model are you using?

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        Jan 6, 2015 8:15 PM (in response to AlanS)
        Re: microscopic creatures on fungus

        Alan,

         

        There are over 48,000 species of mite, so there is a good chance yours might be one that we can't find in photos on the internet (I personally don't have access to printed referecences on them).

         

        I think it would be very interesting if you could rear your creatures and photograph them as they grow, and post photographs of key stages here, please! While I can't say that yours won't bite or otherwise be of medical concern, I think the chances are relatively slim, seeing as they are feeding on (or at least associated with)  fungus (though that does not prelude a change of diet or behaviour later). If you keep them enclosed, you should be OK. I wonder if the challenge might be keeping the fungus in a good-enough state.

         

        If not a mite, then we should perhaps consider allied Arachnid classes, as listed here

        - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arachnid

         

        Good luck,

        and good work with the microscope.

         

        Ref

        - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mite

         

        Mike

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