A tiny mite that moves like a worm was discovered earlier this year at The Ohio State University. Discovered by Samuel Bolton, a PhD student at the Acarology Lab, this species of mite was scooped from the soil across from the street from the lab. An article in Wired dubs this new mite an example of ”Characteristic Minifauna”, which we should take notice of. These small, but potentially important organisms should be considered an important part of the biodiversity picture, yet we still know very little about them.
Dust mites whispering in the ear?

Dust mites are to be expected in every home and apartment, and they can become impressively abundant on and around beds. It shouldn’t be a surprise if one or a few wander from a pillow case into the dark and moist crevice that is an ear canal. Is this a case of otoacariasis (infestation by mites), and would the mites perpetuate there? Hardly. We wonder what the mites were whispering while there.


One of the interesting discoveries I have made include the different kinds of phoretic mites associated with beetles that visit carcasses. These mites ‘hitch a ride’ on the much larger beetles as a way to disperse and travel to the next carcass to feed and reproduce. More details on this study can be found here:

Barton PS, Weaver HJ, Manning AD (2014). Contrasting dynamics of phoretic mites and beetles at vertebrate carrion. Experimental and Applied Acarology. 63:1-13