Photon Challenge: Last Chance

Business end of Antennolaelaps

Well, this Photon Challenge has gone on long enough: last chance for demonstrating your acarological expertise. Tomorrow I will reveal all.

Kaitlin and Ray have done well to the family level of the histiostomatid, but I don’t think a leap to the genus is impossible. After all, just how many mite genera have made it into the pages of Science magazine?

Ray has an embarrassingly detailed grasp of the anthomyiids breeding in indelicate accumulations of organic matter. But no one seems to be willing to stick their neck out on the phoretic mesostigmatan deutonymphs with two dorsal shields that have a death grip at the base of the abdomen of the Eutrichota. Last hint: the family of the phoretic mesostigmatan is currently placed in the same superfamily as the Antennolaelaps featured above.


6 Responses to “Photon Challenge: Last Chance”

  1. Warren Says:

    You used a lot of words and I understood a few of them, like “in” and “as” and “the,” and I feel pretty good about that.

  2. KaitlinU Says:

    Well for the Histiostomatid it appears to not be the genus Histiostoma which is really the only one I found on the ants. So I’m going to guess the next genus that pops into my mind and go with Anoetus. I think the superfamily for Antennolaelaps is Rhodacaroidea through my googlings. And I also found a paper cited by Hunter and Rosario (1988) in their review of mesostigmatid arthropod associations of Rhodacaridae associated with Anthomyiidae. I don’t actually have access to this paper (Ryke, 1962), but the title includes the genus Cyrtolaelaps which is now in the family Euryparasitidae as I determined through subsequent googlings. This is the way I spent my Saturday night, if i don’t win the challenge, at least I know I’m a winner inside.

  3. macromite Says:

    One interesting thing about histiostomatids is that they tend towards specific carrier associations in the deutonymph. Anoetus, e.g., is associated with halictid bees; Bonomoia with bark beetles – although I have several collections from crabronid wasps that nest in logs, so I guess they may be more a dead tree than a bark beetle associate.

    My guess for the habitat of the Eutrichota sp. is something smelly and wet and that, of course, would be good for a histiostomatid with its filtering mouthparts. This genus isn’t Anoetus, but has a similar root and is characteristically found on flies.

    Euryparasitus is a good guess, but not quite there yet.

    Spending Saturday night learning about mites is just about the most interesting thing one can do.

  4. Steve Says:

    Wait- does this guy have two pairs of chelicerae?

  5. macromite Says:

    I’m not sure if you mean the Antennolaelaps (a lady) or the histiostomatid (which has bifid claws and no chelicerae whatsoever)?. I suppose two pairs of chelicerae is possible on a mutant – I have seen water mites with multiples of the normal number of legs – but not here.

  6. Bruce Says:

    Sunday afternoons are also good for talking about mites. I’ll go for Halolaelaps, although I’m still not convinced that Halolaelapidae belongs in the Rhodacaroidea.

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