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Macro Getting really close

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Old 11th March 2019
Harold Gough Harold Gough is online now
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Damaid Mite Through Photar 25mm at f16

This is the last of the series from a session looking at arthropods on the underside of pieces of decaying wood on soil or wood chips in March.

These mites are, by far, the largest I have come across, and I have seen dozens of species. They are of about the same size and, to the naked eye, appearance as the smaller liniphiid spiders. They lumber around at a very slow pace, making them easy to frame, but their legs extend a long way sideways and forwards, making fitting them into the DOF almost impossible.

These mites are always dirty and scruffy looking, the border between mite and crud tending to be unclear. I have never seen immature individuals.

The family is Damaeidae and I think this is Metabelba. I have seen them described as moss eaters. I can confirm that this species, in my garden has no moss where it is found. Today I found a research paper confirming them to be fungus eaters,

The FOV in these (uncropped) images is ca 3.7mm. In the second one the brown object is another mite of another family. Both species are in the Oribatida.

Olympus EM-1 (manual mode), Leitz Wetzlar Photar 25mm f2.5 macro at f16, twin TTL flash, hand-held with support.

Harold





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