All you need to know about the house dust mite
Dust Mite Studies

Interesting mite species for study

Below are some astonishing mite and animal relationships that have evolved over millions of year of live on earth. Have a look through before going on to an important mite for human health 'Dermatophagoides' spp.
Some clever mites to note in your introduction on the study of mites, but remember that the house dust mite may be the smartest of all, because it changed from being a parasite to becoming a scavenger.

1. Name: Acarapis woodii (Tarsonemidae) Home: in the throat of honey bees Occupation: parasitic on host Source: Sammataro & Needham 1996 2. Name: Antennequesoma (Trachyuropodidae) Home: On the terminal antennal segments of army ants Occupation: Steals food Source: Krantz 1978 3. Name: Cheyletidae - various genera Home: In the feather shafts of birds Occupation: Preys on parasitic mites inside feather Source: Atyeo et al. 1984

4. Name: Cloacaridae Home: Lives in the rectum of turtles Occupation: parasitic on host blood & mucosal tissue Source: Camin et al. 1967

5. Name: Coreitarsonemus (Tarsonemidae) Home: In the 'stink' glands of bugs - insects with heads (Hemiptera) Occupation: parasitic? Source: Krantz 1978

6. Name: Demodex folliculorum D.Brevis (Demodicidae) Home: in human facial pores, eyelash & eyebrow Occupation: parasite, causing pimples or dermatitis occasionally Source: Krantz 1978

7. Name: Dicrocheles (Dermanyssidae) Home: in the ears of noctuid moths Occupation: feeds on haemolymph, but avoids deafening the moth by living in one ear only. This is so the moth can hear bats and avoid being eaten along with the mite. Source: Treat 1975

8. Name: Enterohalacarus minutipalpis (Halacaridae) Home: in the digestive system of sea urchins Occupation: parasitic? Source: Bartsch 1987

9. Name: Entonyssinae (Laelapidae) Home: in the lungs of snakes Occupation: parasitic Source: Domrow 1987

10. Name: Gastronyssus bakeri (Gastronyssidae) Home: in the stomach lining of fruit eating bats Occupation: parasitic Source: Fain & Hyland 1985

11. Name: Hypodectes propus (Hypoderidae) Home: in the fat under the skin of pigeons Occupation: parasitically 'absorbs' nutrients from fat, this mite has evolved without a mouth Source: Fain 1969

12. Name: Kennethiella trisetosa (Winterschmidtiidae) Home: in the acarinara (mite pockets) of wasps Occupation: a sexually transmitted parasites of wasp larvae Source: Cowan 1985

13. Name: Larvamima (Larvamimidae) Home: in the brood chambers of army ants, Occupation: mimics ant larvae and may prey on larvae when ants are not looking Source: Elzinga 1993

14. Name: Macrocheles lukoschusi (Macrochelidae) Home: Near the anus of sloths Occupation: Feeds on the sloth's parasitic worms associated with dung or rectum (hypothesized) Source: Kratz 1983

15. Name: Macrocheles rettenmeyeri (Macrochelidae) Home: Attached to the front or end of army ant feet Occupation: parasitic on ant's blood, but careful not to interfere with the working of the foot by helping to function as part of the foot Source: Gotwald 1996

16. Name: Opsonyssus (Gastronyssidae) Home: On the eyeballs of fruit bats Occupation: parasitic Source: Fain 1969

17. Name: Orthohalarachne (Halarachnidae) Home: In the nasal passages and lungs of seals Occupation: Parasitic on blood and mucosal tissue of hosts Source: Kim 1985

18. Name: Paraspinturnix globosus (Spinturnicidae) Home: Inside the anus of hibernating Myotis bats Occupation: Parasitic or just overwintering Source: Radovsky 1985

19. Name: Rhinoseius (Ascidae) Home : In the nostrils of hummingbirds Occupation : use the birds as transport between flowers, their true sources of food Source : Colwell & Naeem 1994


Mites: Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour, D.E. Walter, H.C. Proctor, 1999, CABI Publishing, ISBN 0 85199 375 3

'Dust Mites', Matthew J. Colloff, 2009 'Springer Publishing', ISBN: 9789048122233

Is Permanent Parasitism Reversible? - Critical Evidence from Early Evolution of House Dust Mites', Pavel B Kilmov, Barry O'Connor,'Oxford University Press' on behalf of the Society of Systemic Biologists (2013) doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syt008