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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

        

Ticks and Mites (subclass Acari, class Arachnida, subphylum Chelicerata, phylum Arthropoda, kingdom Animalia)

Ticks (family Ixodidae, suborder Ixodides, order Ixodida, superorder Parasitiformes)

Lone Star Tick (Amblyoma americanum), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 5/28/05.  This is magnified several times.  It's a major carrier of  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in North Carolina. Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 5/24/08.  Apparently trying to hitch a ride. Dog Tick, Durham, NC, 5/23/08

Mesostigmatan Mites (order Mesostigmata, superorder Parasitiformes)
       
Mite, family Parasitidae according to  S.A. Marshall (2006),  Durham, NC 6/15/09.  It was less than 1 mm long.        

Acariform Mites (superorder Acariformes)

The classification of these mites is complex and fraught with controversy, explained by Zip Code Zoo's Actinedida Page.   The details applying to this page will be worked out later.

Velvet Mites (Trombidium holosericeum, family Trombidiidae, order Trombidiformes or Actinedida)

These animals are predators as adults, on the prowl for really tiny arthropods, as is illustrated below.  The microscopic youngest ones are popularly known as "chiggers," and are parasites of a variety of mammalisn species, including humans, and cause much itching misery and some scarring in the American South.

Velvet mite, Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, 10/26/09 Velvet mite , Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 6/16/07.  Velvet mites are harmless to humans and eat only smaller arthropods. Velvet mite, Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC, Pea Creek Trail, 9/12/07.  This mite was caught in a web deserted by a spider.  I pulled it out of the web but don't know if it survived. Velvet mite, Eno River State Park, Old Cole Mill Road access, 5/10/07.  This mite noticed a black object, probed it and left it behind.  The mite was about 3 mm long.  

Red Mites (family Erythreidae, order Trombidiformes)

         
Mite (Leptus genus) on Cattail leaf.  BugGuide page          

Earth Mites (family Penthaleidae, order Trombidiformes)

         
Mite (Penthaleus genus) on clover leaves.  It has been magnified several times.  Durham, 1/14/13.  ID thanks to Heather Proctor.          

Whirligig Mites (family Anystidae, order Trombidiformes)

           
Whirligig Mite (Anystis baccarum), Durham, NC, 5/18/08.  This fast-moving mite was a member of the Actinedida order.           

 

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