Subject: Burying Beetle (?) COVERED with phoretic mites
Geographic location of the bug: Tonasket WA
Time: 11:10 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Poor thing couldn’t fly or retract it’s wings, but it was moving really fast and furious on the ground in the driveway. Surprised my camera picked stuff up as good as it did. I put it next to my flower beds and it must have wanted cover, because it headed straight for the jungle. The belly was completely covered also.
How you want your letter signed: Cathy
Thanks so much for sending in your excellent image of a Burying Beetle or Sexton Beetle covered in Phoretic Mites. It is our understanding that the Phoretic Mites do not harm the Sexton Beetle, though it might have trouble flying. The Phoretic Mites are opportunistic, and they use the Sexton Beetle to travel to new sites where they can find a food supply.