[Odonata-l] water mites on exuviae

Dubois, Robert - DNR Robert.Dubois at wisconsin.gov
Tue Jun 13 07:27:39 PDT 2017

My experiences are similar to those of Dennis from examining many 1000s of exuviae collected in the upper Midwestern and Northeastern US. I’ve also reared about 1500 F-0 nymphs through emergence that were collected in the wild and were subsequently examined for taxonomic purposes, and I don’t recall seeing mites on exuviae or reared tenerals. Maybe I’ve been sufficiently focused on whatever structural parts I was examining that the mites didn’t register..


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From: odonata-l-bounces at listhost.ups.edu [mailto:odonata-l-bounces at listhost.ups.edu] On Behalf Of DAVID ALLAN FITCH
Sent: Monday, June 12, 2017 9:29 PM
To: odonata-l at listhost.ups.edu; dennispaulson at comcast.net
Subject: Re: [Odonata-l] water mites on exuviae

I brought back some Boyeria exuvia from Spain in 2005, and my luggage with my binoculars and the vial of exuvia got misrouted on my way home.  I was concerned that customs officials might find these and object that I had not declared I was bringing "insects" into the country - but I reasoned that exuvia aren't insects,  any more than importing  a cast off suit of clothes would be importing a human being.

When the vial appeared, several mites had hatched and were cruising around inside the vial, leaving trails of spider-thread-like filaments.  "No problem, smuggler buddy," Mike Veit pointed out to me.  "Those may be arthropods but they're not insecta."

David Allan Fitch, Attorney at Law
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Lexington, MA  02420
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On Monday, June 12, 2017 Dennis Paulson <dennispaulson at comcast.net<mailto:dennispaulson at comcast.net>> wrote:
Hello, all.

I was just reading a paper by Andrzej Zawal (Zawal, A. 2006. Phoresy and parasitism: water mite larvae of the genus Arrenurus (Acari: Hydrachnidia) on Odonata from Lake Binowskie (NW Polan). Biological Letters 2006, 43(2): 257-276.

In this he describes finding many mites on exuviae of 9 species of odonates, and this made me realize I had never seen mites on exuviae, although I have collected many species of them from many areas. Is this something that others have seen frequently or ever? Perhaps they are small enough that I just miss them, but I notice that Corbet (1999) made no mention of this.

Corbet also stated that mite parasitism is equal on the two sexes, but Zawal claimed that he typically found more of them on female larvae/nymphs.

I wonder if any of you can confirm these two claims from other parts of the world.


Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net<mailto:dennispaulson at comcast.net>

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