Subject: Spider/Unknown Arachnid
Location: Southern California (near the coast, urban area)
January 8, 2016 11:52 am
Hello, i’ve enjoyed your site for a while now, and just now decided i’d write a letter of my own. Thankfully, I can use correct grammar! I recently (about half a year ago) started getting into photography, and eventually got a nice camera and some lenses, one of which is a Micro Nikkor 60mm macro lens, and I really enjoy it. I’ve loved insects and other arthropods for a long time, and frequently do small bits of research for fun. However, late November last year I noticed many of these tiny red spots moving around my school’s campus here in Los Angeles. Looking closer, I noticed they were actually tiny arachnids. At least, I think they are arachnids. I tried to do a small bit of looking-up, but couldn’t find anything, so now I ask you. What the heck are these? Apologies for the somewhat annoying image, it was the best I could get with how small the things are.
Also, I wanted to include a spider I found in my driveway mid-November or so. Thought this one would be much easier to identify. Whether you choose to do both or just one is completely up to you! I’d just be glad to know what they are. Again, i’d like to apologize if the images are difficult to decipher. I fully understand.
-Igguks, a fan
Signature: Jaden Igguks

Whirligig Mite

Whirligig Mite

Dear Igguks,
We received the following correction on a 2006 posting we titled Predatory Running Mite: “I think you have these confused with species in the family Anystidae, genus Anystis. Both of these mites are relatively large (for mites!), red in color, and commonly occur in aggregations. Anystis are the very fast moving, predatory mites. Their body is almost circular in outline. They run in what appears to be a random fashion until they encounter small arthropod prey. These are harmless to people.”  BugGuide refers to the Mites in the genus
Anystis as Whirligig Mites and we believe that is the correct identification for your Predatory Running Mites.

Wow, thank you very much! It’s actually very interesting to me to find mites around here, especially ones this large. I checked again a few days ago and they’re still all over the place, even in this cold weather. Your fast reply surprised me immensely, and i’d like to once again thank you. I look forward to hearing about the spider!

Location: Los Angeles, California

3 Responses to Whirligig Mite

  1. Lisa says:

    Not harmless to people! I was stung/bitten by one of these in Eastern Ontario recently. I saw the mite running erratically on my arm immediately after feeling the attack. Species was confirmed by a local, experienced Acarologist. The wound swelled up and was itchy for several days.

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