More about the biology of a parasitoid mite

Following Monday’s blog post, we continue to explore the life of  Macrodinychus mites that parasitize an invasive ant species in Mexico, the Longhorn crazy ant. Today Dr. Hans Klompen shares some of the details of the mite’s life cycle that he has discovered with us.

Here is an image of two Macrodinychus larvae that were found attached to an ant pupa. We had to magnify the ant 400 times to make the mites visible. The larvae are tiny, even in mite-standards, while the adults are large, 1 mm or more in length.

What do the larvae and nymphs look like?

 

Tell us a little bit more about the biology of these mites, e.g. how does the female give birth to young?

 

How do the mites disperse to new hosts?

 

Why is this research important?

 

What do you think?  Can/should these mites be used to control invasive ant species?
We would like to hear from you – please leave a comment.

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Reference:

Image of mite larvae on appendages and gravid female from
Krantz, G. W., Gómez, L. A., González, V. E., & Morales-Malacara, J. B. (2007). Parasitism in the Uropodina: a case history from Colombia. In Acarology XI: Proceedings of the International Congress (pp. 29-38).

other images from
Lachaud, J. P., Klompen, H., & Pérez-Lachaud, G. (2016). Macrodinychus mites as parasitoids of invasive ants: an overlooked parasitic association. Scientific Reports, 6.
Dr. Hans Klompen, Professor EEOBiology at OSUAbout the Author: Dr. Hans Klompen is professor in the department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology and director of the Ohio State University Acarology Collection.

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