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Whirligig Mite (Erythracarus pyrrholeucus) - Oregon | by Thomas Shahan
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Whirligig Mite (Erythracarus pyrrholeucus) - Oregon

This fantastic mite was actually found last February scurrying about a Phidippus audax's silken home where I suspect it was feeding on nearby elongated springtails. This little guy was an absolute pain to shoot - although I eventually managed a 5-shot stack of this hyperactive (yet obviously occasionally cooperative) beauty. The image is a severe crop from the Venus 60mm 2:1 macro on a full set of extension tubes - yielding ~4-5:1 magnification.


I was initially stumped as to what the hell he/she was, but after a bit of hunting - discovered the mite belonged to the genus Erythracarus. Long story short, I had our lab request the revision of the genus - only to be amazed that the paper had been written by Jurgen "Peacock Spiderman" Otto! Within hours, Otto himself commented on my post and identified my mite as "Erythracarus pyrrholeucus". Small world!




Head's up! We are now offering a 500 dollar discount on the Belize workshop! Email our event coordinator Kendra ( ) for more information! Registration ends July 5th!


If spending 8 days in the jungles of Belize hunting for crazy insects/spiders sounds like your idea of a good time, more info can be found here: or sign up here:



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Uploaded on July 2, 2015