More Than 70 New Species of Water Mites Discovered via DNA and Color Markings

torrenticola mites

By Samuel Bolton, Ph.D. Picture a bubbling brook, gurgling over a hard bed of rocks and gravel. As a child, you were drawn to explore that strange and stony world, replete as it was with all manner of unfamiliar life forms. Freshly imbued with an unbridled curiosity for all things new, you were a natural […]

A New Taxon for Worm-Like Mites: Eriophyoidea and Nematalycidae

Aceria anthocoptes

By Samuel Bolton Eriophyoidea, the superfamily of arthropods commonly known as gall mites (though not all of them form galls) or four-legged mites (though not all mites with four legs are in Eriophyoidea), are worm-like mites that are important and sometimes devastating parasites of plants. These mites represent one of the largest and earliest adaptive […]

In a Desert, Manners Maketh Mites: A New and Unusual Type of Microbivory

By Samuel Bolton For any small arthropod, the topsoil and litter layers are a veritable jungle — a morass of predators, pathogens, and meals. There are two basic strategies for surviving in organically rich soils: either live fast and die young, or find a way of protecting yourself from predators. Both of these strategies work […]

Different Modes of Locomotion Discovered in Worm-like Mites

By Samuel Bolton What does your esophagus have in common with a type of mite with an extremely elongated body? The answer is, both of them employ a peristaltic mode of motion. Peristalsis occurs when the many muscles that line a body or food channel contract and relax in wave-like succession. When you swallow, you […]

New Species of Bizarre, Worm-like Mite Discovered on Ohio State University Campus

By Samuel Bolton I recently had the good fortune of discovering a new species of mite that looks bizarre enough to be no less suitable for science fiction than science reality. Luckier still, collecting it did not require an arduous and intrepid journey across hostile terrain to reach the location. I simply walked across the […]