Currently viewing the category: "Mites"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Green Beetle with bushy looking legs: definitely can fly.
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern CA – Sunnyvale.
Date: 08/21/2018
Time: 09:36 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  This guy was hanging out in my compost bin with friends.  My guess is that they were grubs and just emerged.  Are they Japanese Beetles?
How you want your letter signed:  Chuck

Figeater with Phoretic Mites

Dear Chuck,
Your beetle is a Figeater, a Green June Beetle that is quite common in California.  The larvae, known as Crawlybacks, are often found in compost piles.  The “bushy looking legs” you mentioned are of great interest to us.  They look like phoretic Mites that often use large beetles like Sexton Beetles as transportation from location to location.  We have an image in our archives of some eastern Green June Beetles with phoretic Mites.

Thanks Daniel,
I can grab one of the beetles for you?  I closed the lid and they are still there.  I usually turn the pile over quite often but have been away for travel: when I opened the lid, those guys were hanging out.
Thanks again.

Thanks for the offer Chuck, but we have plenty of Figeaters in Southern California.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Red Bug
Geographic location of the bug:  North Georgia Mountains
Date: 03/18/2018
Time: 03:44 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We’d appreciate your assisting in identifying this beautiful bug.
How you want your letter signed:  Monroe DeVos

Velvet Mite

Dear Monroe,
This looks to us like a Velvet Mite in the family
Trombidiidae and though data on BugGuide indicates this is a very wide ranging family in North America, most of our reports come from the arid Southwest and most appearances happen after rains.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae parasitize insects and arachnids of all major orders. Adults eat insect eggs.”  Your individual resembles this posting on BugGuide, also from Georgia, that is identified as being in the genus Eutrombidium, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae are parasites of grasshoppers, adults are predacious.”

You are the best….!
Thank you,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Black bug with wings and 6 legs
Geographic location of the bug:  Denton texas
Date: 03/03/2018
Time: 03:37 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Just curious as to what this is.
How you want your letter signed:  Justin

Mason Bee with Mites

Dear Justin,
The large insect in your images is some species of Hymenopteran, most likely a species of solitary Bee, and it appears to be crawling with Mites.  We searched for information on Bees and Mites and we discovered a site, Bee Mite ID, that can be used to identify the Mites, but better images are needed and input from someone with far more skills at identifying mites than we have, like an acarist, would be helpful. We found an image on BugGuide of a Bumble Bee with Mites, another image on BugGuide of an Orchard Bee with Mites, and an image of a Mason Bee with Mites also on BugGuide. Some Mites that infest insects and arthropods are detrimental to the health of the Bees and the Nests, while other Mites only use insects to move from place to place, a phenomenon known as Phoresy, and those Mites, even when numerous, are not detrimental to the host.  We will write to Eric Eaton in the hope of getting a more specific identification for you.  Was this Bee able to fly?

MasonBee with Mites

Eric Eaton Responds
Yes, a mason bee covered in mites.  I am no mite expert and am not sure whether they are beneficial to the bee, detrimental to the bee, or of no consequence at all.  Looks like even mite experts are still trying to sort them out:
I wish I could be more helpful.
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America

Facebook Posting by Lisa Phillips:  My Mason bee blocks got infested with these mites. Built new blocks and burned the old ones.

Thank you so much for the quick response. I’m not sure if it was able to fly. It did not try to fly away when i walked up to it so i am assuming that it couldnt. Unfortunately those are the only two pictures that i got of it.  I really do appreciate you finding this out for me.  I had never seen anything like it.  The only thing i could think of is that it was a bee or some sort of wasp with eggs or babies.  I remember seeing a spider with the babies on its back.  Thank you again.

Hi again Justin,
The spider you saw is probably a species of Wolf Spider.  The female drags around her egg sac and carries she carries her spiderlings for a short time so they have time to disperse throughout her range.  We have been thinking about your sighting.  We suspect that it would be difficult for so many Mites to crawl on an adult Mason Bee, but a newly metamorphosed individual would be most vulnerable up until the time of its maiden flight.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cricket or Grasshopper
Geographic location of the bug:  Azerbaijan
Date: 01/17/2018
Time: 12:14 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I’m not sure if this is a grasshopper or a cricket let alone its species.  Also is it a female as it has an enlarged ovipositor? If anyone can help me with the species and sex (if possible) I would be ever so grateful
How you want your letter signed:  AM

Shieldback Katydid

Dear AM,
This is some species of Shieldback Katydid in the subfamily Tettigoniinae and it appears to have several red Mites on it.  You are correct that it is a female.

Oh wow thank you very much for such a fast reply and pointing out the mites, we weren’t sure what they were! I didn’t realise Katydids had wings? Out of interest how can you tell the difference between a cricket and katydid? Do you think it would be eating one of it’s own species, do you know in what situation they turn to cannibalism?
Many thanks,
Alice Marlow

Many Shieldback Katydids will eat their own species if necessary. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Bugs on bugs.
Geographic location of the bug:  Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Date: 10/30/2017
Time: 12:39 PM EDT
Upon taking some photographs of a Granulated Carabid, I noticed that there was a smaller individual on the subject. Locating several other Carabids in the area, it was found that several individuals had these unknown hitchhikers, with numbers ranging between 0 and 4.
How you want your letter signed:  Scott

Mite on Ground Beetle

Dear Scott,
The creature you found on this Granulated Carabid is a Mite, and there are phoretic or hitchhiking mites that use beetles as a means of transportation.  Phoretic Mites are commonly found on Sexton Beetles in great numbers and the Mites take advantage of the flying Sexton Beetles to transport them to new locations to find food.  We know of no instances of phoretic Mites using Ground Beetles for transportation, so it is entirely possible that this particular Mite might have a more ominous reason for being on the Granulated Carabid you found.  Ground Beetle Macro Photography has an example of a Mite found on a Ground Beetle but there is no explanation.  This might be a phoretic Mite, but we haven’t the expertise with Mites to be certain.

Granulated Carabid


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Never seen this before in my life
Geographic location of the bug:  Northern New Hampshire
Date: 09/11/2017
Time: 04:42 PM EDT
I came across this bug today in the house bouncing off the window. It looked like a bee but clearly wasn’t, it had fuzzy tipped antennae and fuzzy front feet with bumps on it’s back end and when I caught it to release it, it released a scent like feces….I’ve never seen anything like it in 27years.
How you want your letter signed —
Thank you for any info! -Kate

Tomentose Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Dear Kate,
This is a Tomentose Burying Beetle, and if you look really closely, you can see that there are Phoretic Mites crawling on its back.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination