Apr 302015

When I look at Google image, I cannot find any image of the larva of Haemaphysalis concinna. From now on this will change. Here is in exclusivity some shots of this interesting larva.

Maybe you wonder, how did he get a larva of Haemaphysalis concinna ? Ok, I am sure there are different ways to get them, by my way is not the common one. A friend of mine captured an engorged female, the female laid eggs in captivity, the eggs hatched, and here we are. You will probably say this guy has strange friends ?

Anyway I let these pictures with one question to the world. You will probably notice a sort of capsule between legs II & III, obviously by the way, this is an hexapod larva. This capsule is at the same place than the forthcoming stigmate. Is there a link between them ? Is this pore, I do not know how to call this, is something dedicated to respiration ? It would be kind of you to tell me, if you have the answer. We have such similar capsules in different parts of the body.

By the way does the Amblyommidae family still exist or NOT ? Specialists agree between each others ?

For my education and yours some information about this species (thanks to Bristol University) :

Hosts : mainly sheep, however has also been found on; deer, cattle, horse, dog, cat and hares. (but not humans ?)

Distribution : France, Germany, Poland and that’s all ?

Do you know something precise about the biotope ?


Apr 242015

If I were a baby mole, I think this flea, named Hystricopsylla talpae talpae by scientists, would be for me worse than the Alien of the famous film. This is probably the biggest European flea, and the paradox is that it is a pest found on micromammals!

It reminds me a book : Micromammals & Macroparasites !
Micromammals and Macroparasites: From Evolutionary Ecology to Management


This flea can be commonly named the mole flea. It belongs to the family of Hystrichopsyllidae.

Synonymy :

  • Pulex talpae
  • Pulex terrestris
  • Pulex obtusiceps…

Hosts :

  • Primary host : Microtus agrestis, M. arvalis, M. incertus, Pitymys subterraneus, P. multiplex, P. savii,…
  • Secondary host : Arvicola sapidus, Sorex araneus, S. coronatus, Apodemus sylvaticus, Crocidura russula,…
  • Occasionnal host : Eliomys quercinus, Galemys pyrenaicus, Rattus norvegicus.

Here are two photos of this monster ! I wish I were not a mole !

Apr 222015

Let me start with this emblematic parasite (and mite by the way), because this is the most common tick in France, found on human I mean. I was struck by the strange beauty of these horrible parasites, when I first put one of them under the microscope. Here I focus on an observation of larva of Ixodes ricinus.

There are many images of this animal on the net, but some microscopic details, in the light microscope, are worth mentioning…

I give you a reference of a very interesting book (visible on Google books) on the topic of tick physiology :

Physiology of Ticks: Current Themes in Tropical Science published by Frederick D. Obenchain, Rachel Galun

The respiration of the nymphs and adults are through the tracheae and the spiracular plates. In the case of larva, the respiration is through the cuticle. When I am observing this strange constellation of pores on both sides of the larva dorsum, can I say that these pores are for the respiration of the larva (last image of the gallery here below) ? Or are they an opening of ducts of dermal glands ? If somebody, somewhere has the answer, let me know ! Additionally, these constellation of pores are NOT symmetrical. A sort of tick fingerprint ?

The authors mentioned here under say the following (page 13) : “Pore canals are relatively large structures and easily resolved in the light microscope, but wax canals can only be seen in the electron microscope”.

In the case of my larva, I hence suppose we see pore canals (last image of the gallery here below), but what is this very tiny punctuation we can see on the capitulum of the larva ? The punctuation is also visible on the scutum, with an underlying polygonal structure (see the two photographs of the same zone). I try to show this on the light microscope photos here below. Maybe they are the wax canals ? Anyway it shows clearly the multi-stack structure of the cuticle.

For the pleasure here are photos of the whole tick and a focus on the capitulum and hypostoma !

Thanks for your comments.



Apr 182015

Welcome on this international site dedicated to the micro beauty and taxonomy of

mites and parasites !

We faced a lot of difficulties in studying such animals, for this reason we would like to share all the knowledge we gather on these topics. The time where specialists kept jealously their knowledge is over, let’s take advantage of the world wide web to share freely, precise and specific information on mites and parasites. All the knowledge, especially on nature science, should be broadly shared. I expect you to marvel at these hidden beauties and to share your knowledge you have on topics you are interested in, or where you are a specialist.

Our purpose is not to build an exhaustive site or database on mites and parasites, this would be impossible due to the immensity of the subject. Moreover the creator of this website has a very limited access to life diversity in this field (and limited access in lifetime) unless you can send us some interesting species !

Our purposes are the following :

Develop an iconography of quality on mites and parasites, with identification to family, genus or species when it is possible.

Stimulate quality exchanges on this topic with the international community of scientists and passionates people : exchanges of documentation, animals, microscopic slides, information, experience & knowledge.

Interest the public and stimulate its interest to these hated and unknown animals, and try to show them there hidden beauty, and unveil some of their mysteries.

Exchange information and knowledge around microscopy and microphotography, for mites and parasites.

This site cannot address all the aspects of mites and parasites and will be primarily

focussed on microphotography and taxonomy.

We draw your attention on the fact that this site is initiated by French people, so the English is not always a good English. We beg your pardon for that ! Your corrections will be always welcome.

We hope you will appreciate this site and invite you to make your remarks and corrections.

Thanks for your interest on that topic and thanks for enriching the world with your knowledge ! Knowledge is nothing meaningful if you do not share it.

Welcome in this stange, dreadfull & wonderfull world !