Dec 042015
 

This mite was found hitchhiking on a Necrophorus beetle, in French Brittany in 2010.

Well, I am not fully satisfied with these photos but the specialists will anyway probably recognise the Macrocheles glaber group… from the family of Macrochelidae. The problem is that the prepared slide is very slim, it is good to have a global clear view of the mite, but both faces are overlapped, even with higher magnification. When you have no micrometric button, it is difficult to understand, on such photos, if the seta you see is on the dorsum or the ventrum.

Anyway I checked for you the differenciation between the mites of the glaber group (I speak about females here under) :

  • Macrocheles nataliae : setae J5, Z5 and S5 are with distal pilosity, J5 rather fully pilose or serrated
  • Macrocheles glaber : setae J5 are with distal pilosity (or serrated) but Z5 and S5 are smooth
  • Macrocheles perglaber has significant differences in ventral shields but only differential drawings could highlight the differences

 

When the story becomes complicated, it is with a new description coming from France in 2006 :

  • TWO NEW SPECIES OF MACROCHELES FROM FRANCE (MESOSTIGMATA: MACROCHELIDAE) by J. NIOGRET , A. NICOT & M. BERTRAND (Accepted October 2006)

It describes a new species called Macrocheles paucipectinatus, but the description is in nearly all points similar to a glaber like Macrocheles and it is stated that :

By several characters, Macrocheles paucipectinatus n. sp. is closed to the glaber group: the well defined procurved line, the pattern on sternal shield, the simple and pilose dorsal setae (S5, Z5 pilose and serrated J5). However simple z4 and r4 get M. paucipectinatus n. sp. different from the standard definition (Walter & Krantz 1992).

This slight difference is not convincing for me, as one can easily observe slight differences in pectinations of setae from one individual to the other pertaining presumably to the same species. But this is only my point of view. I am also slightly dissapointed by the quality of the drawings of the here under referred paper, no description unfortunetly of the chelicera.

One difference I can observe from Macrocheles paucipectinatus with my subject is :

Arched line is short, central part of sternal shield with reticular pattern. Angular line divided in 2 branches posteriorly. Oblique posterior lines glaber-like.

Anyway, to my humble opinion, our subject here is definitly a female of Macrocheles nataliae. One of my references is Fauna Europea, and I do not see any M. paucipectinatus in their list for Macrochelidae. By the way I should jump into TGV to go to Paris check the deposit of types for M. paucipectinatus…

If you read me and are concerned about Macrocheles glaber group (oh my God!), let me know your opinion.

Thanks for your patience reading me.

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Oct 012015
 

Hello world,

I used to go for hunting on bats, during endless nights, but for scientific purposes of courses ! No victims among bats I swear !

For this reason I am quite familiar with the mites you can find on the bat wings (or more precisely what scientists call the patagium).

I am happy to present you this specimen which is not an adult stage but a preadult one. I would say deutonymph but I am not really sure. This mite was find on Myotis myotis and is much probably Spinturnix cf myoti but I would appreciate confirmation if you are familiar with such mites and the preadult stage.

You may be surprised by the fact that caecums and blood is not visible, which is usually the case in this family (Spinturnicidae), but it has been erased by chemicals to improve the quality of the microscopic mount !

Thanks for your interest !

 

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Sep 022015
 

Hello world,

We are back after a period of vacations. We took advantage of the vacations to visit the famous National Museum of Natural History in Paris. At this occasion, with the kind permission of NMNH (MNHN of Paris in French), with took some photographs of forgotten treasures…

To start with a serie of specimens directly from the collection of NMNH in Paris, here is Asca squamulata, firstly described by Athias-Henriot in 1961.

This mount is of great interest, because it shows a syntype of Asca squamulata. As you may know, a snytype is quoted in the first description of a new species, in other words in the protolog of the species.

We hope you will appreciate this species from the Ascidae family.

We warmly thank NMNH in Paris and Mark Judson for allowing us visiting the collections.

 

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Jul 062015
 
Varroa destructor - parasite of honey bee

If you are interested in honey bees or mites you probably have heard about this pest ! Varroa destructor sounds like a horrible monster, a sort of Terminator of our familiar honey bees. But this pest exists from ages. It is true that human activities has spead this pest all over the world, probably except […]

Jun 252015
 
Geholaspis (Longicheles) hortorum

Family : Macrochelidae This family has been first described by Vitzthum, 1930. Genera : Geholaspis This genera has been first described by Berlese, 1918. Synonyms : Holostaspis hortorum Berlese, 1904 Macrocheles hortorum Berlese, 1918 Geholaspis mandibularis hortorum Valle, 1953 Short diagnosis : Very similar species to Geholaspis mandibularis, setae, j5 j6, J2, J5, and z6 […]