by Matthew Cobb
What are these?
Masters student Daniel Llavaneras spotted these odd structures on the back of a 3cm-long beetle he had captured in the Andes and preserved in alcohol. His initial assumption – like mine when I saw the picture – is that they were some kind of fungus, a bit like Robert Hooke’s famous 17th century illustration from Micrographia:
But when he looked closer, he could see that on the underside of the round structre there were eight pairs of folded up legs (those are the squiggly looking things):
As Daniel describes on his neat blog, he did the sensible thing (are you reading this, Jerry?) and took to Twitter asking what they might be. The answer came back that they were deutonymphs of a Uropodina mite. (A deutonymph, as any fule kno, is a non-feeding stage of some kinds of mite, which will…
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