Macromite’s Second Electron Challenge

Rainforest Electron Raster Mystery with Blobs

I spent my lunch break one day this week talking ant mites and looking over the amazingly diverse collection of laelapid mites that formed a significant subset of the 200 mite species that a graduate student has found on Ohio ants over the last few years. The conversation drifted to bug blogs and the usual adulation that one hears for Alex Wild from the ant-infatuated. Of course, I asked why would an mymecoacarophile mention Myrmecos before macromite? After the usual gushing about all the wonderful things on Myrmecos, this student pointed out that ‘Well, you don’t post very often you know.’

Point taken and given that I’ve been stuck in this bloody airport for the last 8 hours and it may be as long again before I’m home, might as well do some of that not very often blogging.

Here’s the second macromite challenge: what is it and what are those blobs on the outside? As a few clues to get you started I’ll tell you that the larger animal is terrestrial and not uncommon in soil and litter on the floor of subtropical rainforest in southeastern Queensland. The first time I saw one of these crawling across the floor of a live extraction container I was flummoxed and then amazed. But amazement and the Australian fauna are never too far apart.

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10 Responses to “Macromite’s Second Electron Challenge”

  1. Snail Says:

    It looks like an ostracod. I should dig up some of the back yard and see whether I can find some here.

  2. Adrian Thysse, FCD Says:

    An ostrocod, Mesocypris.

    Please?

  3. Kaitlin U Says:

    Thanks for the mention in your blog and all your help with the Laelaspis and Cosmolaelaps groups. Happy to see I could put a fire under you to see some more blogging and awesome SEMS!

    • macromite Says:

      Hi Kaitlin,

      Glad to help and it was great to see all those ant mites. Both genera need revision – so you have years of fun to look forward to. Good luck at Miami.

  4. macromite Says:

    Snail and Adrian are correct that the larger animal is an ostracod, but Adrian is incorrect in guessing Mesoscypris (Does this mean that I can fine you one print? Your Morning at Maskinonge Lake is quite spectacular – and captures the soul of this wet summer: http://cameravoyages.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/maskinonge-1-of-11.jpg ).

    No guesses as to the fellow travelers?

  5. Adrian Thysse Says:

    Fellow travellers? Must be mites…

  6. Jeffrey N. Says:

    Are those some eggs/giant spermatophores on the surface?

  7. Snail Says:

    Don’t really have a clue about the blobbies. Are they the collapsed egg cases of something?

  8. peteryeeles Says:

    Your blog quizzes certainly are challenging! I quite enjoy the random assortment of pages google directs me to, when I am trying to have at least a partially educated guess at an ID.

    Google (well… Martens & Deckker) tells me this chap could be either Austromesocypris or Scottia audax? From your location I would guess the latter.

    As for what the blobs are… I’ve no idea. I quite like Snails’ idea of collapsed egg cases, or perhaps some form of fungus?

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