Bursting With Babies: Bizarre Reproduction Contributes to Mite’s Rapid Population Growth

Luciaphorus perniciosus mite

By Meredith Swett Walker Parenthood can be rough for many species, but imagine if reproducing meant having your abdomen swell grotesquely to house dozens of offspring. While inside you, these squirmy offspring reach their full adult size and sexual maturity. In fact, they even mate—with each other—while in your bloated belly, then burst forth ready […]

Get to Know Tropilaelaps Mites, Another Serious Parasite of Honey Bees

Tropilaelaps clareae

By Josh Lancette The plight of honey bees is well documented, as is the cause of much of their grief: parasitic mites. Varroa destructor gets the largest amount of attention as the most devastating parasite of European honey bees (Apis mellifera), but other serious parasitic mites exist as well. In a new review article published […]

New Chigger Mite Species Found In Brazil

Chigger mites in the genus Blankaartia are known to preferentially parasitize birds, but occasionally they can also be found on rodents, bats, and reptiles. Scientists in Brazil have reported the presence of mites in this genus for the first time in their country, and they have discovered a new species called Blaankartia shatrovi. The name […]

Researchers Discover Four New Mite Species Living Inside Ibis and Spoonbill Feathers

By Meredith Swett Walker If you were to page through a field guide to birds searching for species that look as if they were dreamed up by Dr. Seuss, you’d probably choose some from the family Threskiornithidae, which includes ibises and spoonbills. For instance, the Eurasian spoonbill, a leggy bird that looks like it has […]

Dust Baths and Longer Beaks Can Make Cage-free Chickens into Mite-free Chickens

By Meredith Swett Walker Life is improving for America’s chickens. Due to consumers’ increasing interest in animal welfare, large portions of the poultry industry are shifting towards less restrictive housing. Many poultry farmers are replacing the conventional conjoined small wire cages, called “battery cages,” with cage-free housing in large open poultry houses. Cage-free housing gives […]