Tiny mites on maple seed wing

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

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rjlittlefield
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Tiny mites on maple seed wing

Post by rjlittlefield »

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):

Image

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

Image

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

--Rik

Mitch640
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Post by Mitch640 »

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

DeVil
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Post by DeVil »

Nicely recorded micro-fight! :)

Cactusdave
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Post by Cactusdave »

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.
Leitz Ortholux 1, Zeiss standard, Nikon Diaphot inverted, Canon photographic gear

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

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

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

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

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

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

--Rik

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

rjlittlefield wrote: Can you tell from the images whether these critters are adults?
Yes, due to the degree of pigmentation and sclerotisation.

Harold
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

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

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

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
My images are a medium for sharing some of my experiences: they are not me.

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