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Tiny mites on maple seed wing

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18087
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:51 pm    Post subject: Tiny mites on maple seed wing Reply with quote

I was just out familiarizing myself with a new lens this evening.

Here's the most interesting thing I found: some tiny mites apparently scavenging on the surface of a maple seed wing.

Shot with Canon T1i camera, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM lens on 68 mm of Kenko extension tubes, Canon 580EX II Speedlite, E-TTL exposure at 1/250 sec.

Manual merge of two images at f/5.6 and f/8.

Slight horizontal crop to about 80% of frame width (9 mm wide as shown):



Actual pixels (from 4752x3168, f/5.6 on left, f/8 on right):



This lens is beautifully sharp, even on tubes like this where it runs at about 1.9X.

--Rik
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Mitch640



Joined: 15 Aug 2010
Posts: 2137

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice detail. They look enough like ticks to make me itch though. I guess the little white things are pollen.
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DeVil



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 408
Location: Serbia

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicely recorded micro-fight! Smile
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Cactusdave



Joined: 09 Jun 2009
Posts: 1520
Location: Bromley, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm hearing (and seeing) very good things about this lens, but its price is well up there with other Canon 'L' glass, so investing in it isn't a trivial decision.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18087
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for commenting, guys.

@Mitch, I think you're right about the little white things. They look vaguely like pine pollen, which the streets are full of right now.

@DeVil, I'm pretty sure we're seeing scavenging, not predation. That black bug on its back has been lying around for quite a while, judging from the shriveled antenna.

@Cactusdave, I agree completely about the lens -- it's very good, and expensive to match. On the bright side(?), given the weight of the lens and camera and flash, I can probably write off some of the cost as "exercise equipment".

--Rik
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mites are Cryptostigmata, which are non-predaceous, recyclers of dead organic material.

Harold
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Harold. Can you tell from the images whether these critters are adults?

--Rik
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
Can you tell from the images whether these critters are adults?

Yes, due to the degree of pigmentation and sclerotisation.

Harold
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, we're looking at adult mites whose body length is about 0.4 mm.

And now I know what are those little specks moving around on the surface of my compost pile.

Cool!

--Rik
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 5787
Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
So, we're looking at adult mites whose body length is about 0.4 mm.

And now I know what are those little specks moving around on the surface of my compost pile.

Cool!

Typical size, aka seed mites. The smallest Collembola are 0.25mm.

Mites can be a lot smaller e.g. the sclerotized Prostigmata such as Scutacaridae, Pyemotidae and Tarsonemidae, the group including some pest species - small but deadly - also itch mites and gall mites!

Harold
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