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The males of the mites of the genus Arrenurus have modified rear ends. Every species has it's distinct shape. Their tough carapace has a texture of fine punctures.

The life cycle of water mites is quit complicated and there is still a lot to be discovered. The development differs in each family and often in each species. The eggs develop into larvae that often live a parasitic life. Some attach themselves to larvae of dragon-flies or mosquitos, others attack adult water insects like water beetles. In some cases this parasitic stages are absent.

Normally the larvae grows into a legless form that pupates. From this pupa a nymph stage emerges that is identical to the adult but lacks the reproductive organs. After a second pupate stage the water mite reaches it's adult form.

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© Wim van Egmond 1999

Image taken with a Zeiss 10X neofluar and 2.8 Olympus photo-ocular, mites size about 0.8 mm.


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