Saturday, 13 September 2008

Fungus and Mites

I found this fungus on a tree at Leven Canyon today. I did not measure it but I'd estimate they are each is about 7 - 8 mm in diameter.I have no idea what it is yet as I'll need to get to the library. However, even more interesting are the little mites. As is often the case, I did not notice these until getting home which is a pity as I would have liked to have tried for a closer shot.

If anyone knows more about either species I be glad to here from you.


(Click Photos to Enlarge)

Fungus with mites

Fungus with mites


10 comments:

  1. Oh, wow! Look at those things!

    Isn't it always the way that you see other interesting stuff after the event, when you can't take additional pics. Still, next time ...

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  2. Mosura, Gouldiae recently bought both of us a pocket magnifier for use in the field, it's in my pocket all the time now, I've been caught many times like this.

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  3. Thanks Snail - Yep - happens to me all the time.

    Thanks Duncan - What makes it worse is that I had two hand lenses with me at the time as I keep them in my camera bag :-)

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  4. Magnifying mirror and a decent lens are a must for fungi hunters!
    Interesting picture, Mosura. I'm sure mites would be just as enticed to fungi as other inverts.

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  5. Thanks JL I have both of those things in my kit. With regard to the mites, I was not surprised by there presence - just delighted at the discovery :-) Things like this also bring up a load of questions in my mind like: Are they host specific? Are they feeding on flesh or spores? How do they find the fungi? What is their means of dispersal? ... and so on. Sometimes even without the answers the questions alone can heighten the feeling of wonderment.

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  6. Hi Mosura
    Back in July I posted an image of a tiny creature living between the gills of a small Mycena fungus.
    I thought maybe a Springtail.
    <
    At the time, you suggested a related group a Tetrodontofora.
    <
    But these things seem to have a different body structure.
    <
    Interesting the tiny things which live on other tiny things. I am reminded of the quote by Jonathan Swift: "So nat'ralists observe, a flea Hath smaller fleas that on him prey, And these have smaller fleas that bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum."
    Cheers
    Denis

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  7. Hi Mosura (and others), if stuck without a hand-lens in the field, but you have binoculars, you can turn them round, and peer through the OBJECTIVE lens with the eyepiece really close to the object you are looking at. By adjusting all the relevant distances, you get quite a good close-up view of what you are looking at.

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  8. Thanks Denis - I replied to you ages ago but for some reason it's not here. When I seen those mites I recited the same saying although I always new a different version -- "Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em, And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum."

    Thanks John - Yes that a good tip. I've done that in the past.

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  9. Those mites appear to be of the family Tydeidae. Not much is known of this family except that they have a wide range of diets that often includes fungal spores and pollen. So they are not likely to be specific to this fungus.

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  10. Thanks - I'll look that up later on.

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