Location: Santa Fe, NM
March 17, 2011 3:36 pm
On Feb 23 we were visited by a small insect that has got to be the most beautiful ever. It was about an 1/8 in. long and its legs are relatively short for its body size. It may be a baby, and it seemed to be actively crawling through the gravel of our driveway. When captured once it fell on its back and seemed to have difficulty getting upright, but ten was okay. We live a short distance from Santa Fe, NM. Temperature was about 42 degrees F, altitude 7000’. Any thoughts? H. Von Letkemann (telephone number edited out)
Signature: H. Von Letkemann
Dear H. Von Letkemann,
We are amused that you consider this Velvet Mite to be “the most beautiful ever”, though it is not an insect. Arachnids, including Mites, are related to insects, but they are classified differently. Velvet Mites feed on insect eggs, most notably on Grasshopper Eggs. We are editing out your contact number from your email prior to posting.
Thank you for introducing me to this little guy. Initially I thought it must be a spider, since I thought I counted 8 legs. Then, when it had trouble turning over I couldn’t think a spider would have that kind of difficulty.
I wanted to make a contribution, but the PayPal system and I couldn’t connect. I still would like to do that, and I’m able to use the U.S. mail if you send me an address.
Thank you again,
Lucky Von Letkemann