Archive for February, 2015

Mites in the News

February 4, 2015

Zerconid_Idaho_3As the Good Book says: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). The last year hasn’t been the season for much new at Macromite’s Blog. Mites, alas, have been getting short shrift and I’ve been chasing platypus and butterflies and littering Facebook with the result. However, while I’ve been trudging around my new neighbourhood under the skeptical gazes of the kookaburras and wallabies, others have taken up the mite-art palette and brush with outstanding success.

Sam Bolton (or ‘Bolten’ as The Guardian misspelled his name) struck first in classic greyscale with his ‘Buckeye Dragon Mite’. Such is the power of a good monster picture that I’m told his paper was the most downloaded from The Journal of Natural History last year. Let’s hope someone also cites the paper in a scientific journal or two.

http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/newmite.htm

http://smithsonianscience.org/2014/03/new-dragon-like-mite-found-in-ohio-is-gentle-reclusive/

And now, Martin Oeggerli’s long quest to bring the wonders of the acarine world to the public’s attention has been fulfilled. Quite a spectacular feat, both in colour use and in attracting the attention of National Geographic, something that several acarologists that I know of were not able to do. But if you compare Martin’s header image – a zerconid mite – with my more pedestrian zerconid image above, it is easy to understand his success. The text is by Rob Dunn (and The Inquisitive Anystid and I checked it for accuracy).

http://www.micronaut.ch/mighty-mites-micronaut-feature-article-published-by-national-geographic/

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/02/mites/dunn-text

For those who are not squeamish (and if you are please don’t go there), y0u can see Rob among others bringing you up-to-date on follicle mite research in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHDDCySUCIk

Even I am feeling itchy after watching that, but at least the rumour they explode on your face has been put to rest.