Currently viewing the category: "Mites"
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

Subject: What is this bug
Location: West Texas
August 21, 2017 11:21 am
I live in Texas and as children we called these bugs rainbugs because they only came out after a rain. I have not seen one in decades and figured they went the way of the horned toad, but I found ONE the other day. These are pictures of it. They do not bite or sting and have a red velvety covering. WHAT IS IT???
Signature: kathy mirick

Velvet Mite

Dear Kathy,
We are sorry to hear that you no longer see Horned Toads, but we suspect that the disappearance of native Ants like Harvester Ants is a contributing factor.  Invasive species like the Argentine Ants are compromising native species in many places.  This is a Velvet Mite, and you are correct that they generally appear shortly after a rain.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Lice? Bed bug? Flea????
Location: Denver Colorado
August 9, 2017 7:26 pm
Hi! I’ve been seeing these strange things crawl across my iPad or iPhone screen for the past week or so. They are brown in color. Quite small. I’ve had my phone on a bed or couch when they seem to show up. What is it?????
Signature: Disgusted in Denver

Computer Loving Mite???

Dear Disgusted in Denver,
Though your image lacks important critical clarity, we suspect this is a Mite.  We have several postings in our archive devoted to computer loving Mites.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s on my orbweaver?
Location: Nova Scotia
August 4, 2017 3:47 pm
Hi Daniel,
I was working in and around a culvert and the longjawed orbweavers love to hang out on the ceiling, but this one has a few orange bulbs on him/her. Has this beauty been parasitized?
Signature: Curious

Long-Jawed Orbweaver with Mites

Dear Curious,
This Long-Jawed Orbweaver in the genus
Tetragnatha is carrying several Mites.  We found similar images on Buy Pet Armor and Mirrorless Macro, but we can’t locate any information on the type of Mite and the degree of harm it causes the Spider.  Spiders of North-West Europe has an image on their Spider Enemies page, so we are presuming the Mites are not beneficial.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Strange Red Wasp-like Bug
Location: Scotland
August 2, 2017 3:34 am
My mom found this bug flying and buzzing around our kitchen last night, it kept trying to run into our ceiling light, I thought it was some kind of wasp or hornet but I haven’t found anything resembling it on the internet. It’s the first time either of us have seen a creature like this so maybe it’s some sort of migrating species? Any info is greatly appreciated, thanks!! 🙂
Signature: Claire

Burying Beetle with Phoretic Mites

Dear Claire,
This is a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle in the genus Nicrophorus, probably the Common Sexton Beetle,
Nicrophorus vespilloides, which is pictured on NatureSpot UK, and it is covered with Phoretic or hitch-hiking Mites.  According to NatureSpot UK:  “These beetles perform an important service in getting rid of carrion (dead small animals and birds). Males and females cooperate to bury this matter, by digging beneath the bodies to provide a food supply for their larvae.”  A more poetic version is available on BugLife where it states:  ” Love at first corpse!  Males and females first meet at corpses of dead and decaying animals such as mice and small birds. When love has struck males and females pair up and fight off any rival couples trying to take charge of the corpse. Once a pair has won the corpse they dig a hole beneath it and bury it, this is where they get their name from.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination