Hi all and apologies to any who have been hoping for more frequent postings (special apologies to Bill Bartlett who was left rotting in the spam filter for who knows how long Ha – well written spam, so apologies are to the Spam filter). It was a busy summer/fall and I did publish lots of new mite SEMs, but you will have to trawl Zootaxa and the web to find them. Rather than worry about gray areas in the intellectual property arena and my current employer’s fear of the web, herein I’m sticking to images that I make on my own time and since work has been so all consuming, my time has been limited. However, some Polish colleagues recently convinced me to contribute images to their chapters on soil animals and I spent a few minutes polishing up this very ornate predatory mite for showing.
All the members of the early derivative prostigmatan family Labidostomatidae are ornate, but Australian members of this genus are my favourites. All that I have seen also are somewhere between golden and greenish yellow – and very fast moving. In a live extraction, one often sees them carrying around some unfortunate springtail – which they mash up in their massive ice-tong-like chelicerae, suck-up the juices, and spit out the empty shell.
Labidostomatidae is based on the genus Labidostoma – and subject to numerous spelling variants for those who aren’t sticklers for Greek grammar, e.g. Labidostomidae, or stutter on the ‘m’, e.g. Labidostommatidae, or think that Nicoletiella should have precidence. I’m sure that I’ve made all of the mistakes myself over the years, but this is the currently correct version according to the 3rd Edition of The Manual of Acarology – another place you can see many of my and other superb SEMs, although only in B&W.
Beetles in the Bush is starting up a blog carnival on, not too surprisingly, beetles, and called An Inordinate Fondness. Mites are inordinately fond of many habitats and beetles are one of them. So, even though I’m in the midst of describing a mite from an ant, I think I’ll take a break next time and put together something on the real beetle mites.