Much of mite biology is clouded in mystery—even the delineation of their body segments. A new study upends a 60-year-old model for the proper location of mite "waists."
Meet Ray Fisher, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher at the University of Arkansas, expert in mite systematics, avid naturalist, and subject of the next installment of our "Standout Early Career Professionals" series.
Larval mites, known as "chiggers," from the family Trombiculidae are vectors of the bacteria that causes scrub typhus. The infection has been implicated as a common cause of acute encephalitis syndrome in India, where public health professionals are looking to better understand the variety of mite species present on rodents and their rates of infection.
In 2017, specimens of an "unusual-looking" tick were discovered in New Jersey and determined to be a species, Haemaphysalis longicornis, native to Asia. No established population of the species has ever been previously documented in the United States.