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Velvet mite

Family: Erythraeidae

Description:

About 10mm long including legs. Slightly furry legs and body. Two-tone orange and red body.

Habitat:

Exploring eucalyptus leaf.

Notes:

Subfamily Callidosomatinae - possibly Charletonia sp. or Callidosoma sp.
ID thanks to thiridula via martinl
Also called 'Red velvet mites' these arachnids are from many different families and have very different appearances in close-up http://australianmuseum.net.au/image/Mup... . They all are very red or red and orange. They are usually beneficial keeping other pests at bay by either actively predating them as adults or parasitising them as hatchlings.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22953763@N0...
http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/IT9910...
http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/ZO9900...
phylum: ARTHROPODA
subphylum: CHELICERATA
class: ARACHNIDA
order: TROMBIDIFORMES
suborder: PROSTIGMATA
infraorder: PARASITENGONINA
superfamily: ERYTHRAEOIDEA
family: Erythraeidae

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13 Comments

CharliePrice
CharliePrice 5 years ago

wow ..they can be so different ...and BIG ..some i have seen are big too ...i have another pic in my flickr ..looks different than the last at Latrobe ..but it was confirmed still a red velvet mite. Interesting stuff.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Thanks theridula and Debbie. @theridula I'm impressed with how much work is yet to be done in this field - thoroughly fascinating creatures.

Debbie Stewart
Debbie Stewart 6 years ago

Brilliant colours on this mite Mark and what a great contrast between that and the green leaf! :-)

theridula
theridula 6 years ago

Just offering a confirmation... this is indeed a callidosomatine (Erythraeidae), and likely Charletoina or Callidosoma. Nice ID!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

Thanks Martin... fixing it up now.

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

Your name of Erythraeidae is a family taxon and not a genus.
http://www.thefullwiki.org/Erythraeinae
(All endings of "idae" indicate a family level hierarchy (while "iinae" refer to a subfamily level.)
Trombidium is a genus, but this may be in its own family based on this reference http://www.thefullwiki.org/Erythraeinae
Erythraeinae is certainly correct but nobody seems to be more definitive so far. BTW its an excellent photo.

Smith'sZoo
Smith'sZoo 6 years ago

very interesting creature...

nexttogone
nexttogone 6 years ago

Beautiful!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

There you go asergio - start feeding yours eggs if you want bigger ones. That's amazing something so visually distinctive has no name yet. This is the third time I've searched this one to no avail.

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

A cool spotting Argy Bee
I agree its that large because I saw it too - eating eggs!
http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/785...
I have not found an ID for this very distinctive species which also uniquely has flat feet pads. Nick Monaghan could also not ID it;
http://www.lifeunseen.com/index2_item_47...

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 6 years ago

Awesome!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

I'll go as low as 8 :) It did impress me with it's overall size including very long legs for a velvet mite. The pure red ones here are certainly much much smaller. I can't get them clear with this camera.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 6 years ago

10 mm? It is quite large for a mite, Argy (at least for the ones I see here).

Mark Ridgway
Spotted by
Mark Ridgway

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.90, Long: 145.32

Spotted on Nov 15, 2012
Submitted on Nov 15, 2012

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