Water mites: varieties, features, danger to humans

Water mites: varieties, features, danger to humans

We All know that there are mites that live in the forests and represent a considerable danger to humans. Their relatives living in human dwellings, also cause many problems. There are ticks, causing a loss to the national economy: they destroy the plants and feed on animals.

A Subclass of ticks gained is truly a formidable reputation… Some species are so deadly that a person takes all possible steps to destroy them. But on whose side the advantage in this centuries-old war – is the big question.

Amid kindred with a reputation as merciless killers and ineradicable pests water mites seem almost harmless. Many people have not heard about this group. Our article will help fill this gap and will talk about the peculiarities of life of these animals.

General information

The First thing that you should focus your attention, – the species. Some people mistakenly think ticks are insects, but this is not so. They belong to the arachnids.

The Collection is international in the name of Hydrachnidae. The entire life of these mites associated with the aquatic environment, but in habits they are more similar to terrestrial spiders than to other aquatic organisms.


Consider, how to look like water mites. A photo can help to represent this visually.

Like all arachnids, they have four pairs of legs. The rounded body consists of the abdomen and a relatively small head. Most representatives of the group of small size, up to 2-3 mm.

As a rule, the body of bright colors, from bright yellow to red. Some species of water mites ornamented.

The Chelicerae (jaws) developed and pedipalpy (jaw nogoshchupaltsa) are provided with bristles or hooks. In adults the legs are much longer than the body and provided with bristles that are required for the movement in the water.

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When the civil war began in Spain, General Francisco Franco (Francisco Paulino of Hermenegildo Teodulo Franco Bahamonde — full name) celebrated its arakatzailea, but he seemed already tired of life and much older than his years. To unpresentable appe.

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Ticks have two or four eyes. According to scientists, they have excellent eyesight, which helps them to Orient themselves even in muddy water.

Details to consider, how does a water mite, is possible only under a microscope. But the accumulation of parasites on the host can be seen with the naked eye. For example, red spots on the back and sides of the bug-skaters – that’s nothing like a colony of maggots.

Hunting and diet

Most water mites — great hunters and predators. They feed on zooplankton, and sometimes attack other invertebrates. Some species are parasitic, while others prefer native plants and detritus.

Most parasitic species feeds on water insects, some dangerous to shellfish. The parasitism of this group of water mites in most cases are not a deadly threat to the owner, however, inflicts damage to his health, impact on lifestyle, and weakens the inconvenience.


Among aquatic plants in shallow freshwater bodies there is a large diversity of water mites. Often these animals live in lakes, ponds, marshes, river backwaters, rarely in flowing water of rivers and even permanent forest pools.

Common representatives of this group almost everywhere. A very small number of species can survive in salt water.


All species of water mites breathe by absorbing dissolved oxygen surface of the body. The threshold of the desired concentration is extremely low. Even if a million parts of water accounts for only one part of the oxygen to the mites enough. Due to this, the survival rate in the polluted water are very high.

Mites are Developing with metamorphosis, that is, larvae differ from adults in appearance.

The light appears a tick with six legs. Most species are parasitic in the larval stage. Then the larvae have a complex life cycle. It includes three juvenile stages. The larvae pupate, then turn into a nymph. The nymph is more similar to the imago, and its way of life more mobile. The first attempt to self-adapt to the environment, to learn the skills of hunting. After some time, the nymph turns into a pupa, then to become fully grown.

Immature individuals most of the time is carried out in inert conditions that attach to an animal or plant host and existing at his expense. Free floating can only see Mature water mites.

Who is Gladysh?

Water mites are often mistakenly considered another unusual creature. Actually Gladysh is a water bug. His lifestyle is similar to that of water are arachnids, most of my life the bug-Gladysh also holds in the ponds. But these creatures are not even distantly related.

How not to mix? To estimate the size and count the legs. Gladysh bigger and has only 3 pairs of limbs.

In recent years, this insect attracted high attention of the active users of the Network. Many resources and is rapidly spreading fake news about the mortal danger Gladysh, supposedly able to kill a healthy human in just two days. The reason was the peculiar feature of these creatures. Photo of a male with a brood of eggs on the back looks very unusual, but because many believe the accompanyinga picture of an awesome text.

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But no danger this creature to humans is not. However, whenever possible, to grab the hands its not worth it – like many relatives of bedbugs, it could snap if you feel that him or his kids in some kind of danger.

The Danger of water mites for humans

Not dangerous for humans and eight legged inhabitants of the waters. Ticks can neither bite, nor even to penetrate under the skin. This family eats plant food and plankton. Parasitic types of people also not interested.


Water mite — species, habitat, appearance, danger to humans

Water mites can usually be found around the edges of ponds and lakes, either swimming in the vicinity of submerged plants or foraging on their leaves and stems. They are often brightly coloured, most often some shade of red or green, although blue, yellow and tan colours are also seen. The adults are rarely larger than about 2mm or smaller than 0.5mm. The largest known varieties can reach 8mm.
Having eight legs and a pair of palps, they can appear at first to resemble tiny spiders, but closer inspection reveals that what would be cephalothorax and abdomen in a spider is in the water mites fused into a single body part having no sign of segmentation.

They are almost exclusively freshwater in their habitat, and whilst a few are parasitic upon such creatures as the freshwater mussel, most are free-living and carnivorous. These seize upon worms, small crustaceans and small insects encountered in their foragings, and use their penetrating mandibles (homologous to the chelicera of the spiders) to pierce the cuticle of the prey and suck out its juices.
There are also less active and less conspicuously coloured mites which spend their time crawing sluggishly amongst the plant debris of the pond floor (see below), and may be present in large numbers.

This water mite was found among the bottom sediments of the pond, foraging slowly in organic detritus, much of which seems to consist of fragments of dead crustacean cuticles. These mites share many more structural similarities with dustmites and spider mites than their more colourful and active relatives as exampled in the picture above.

Darkfield, x100.

More notes on the water mites will follow when more mites present themselves to be photographed.


Narwhal – Facts, Pictures, Habitat, Behavior, Appearance

Narwhal (Unicorn Of The Sea) is found in the cold water of Arctic sea near Canada and Greenland. It belongs to the same family as whale. The only difference is that narwhal has a spiraled tooth that looks like that of a unicorn at the top off its head. An average narwhal may be 15 to 20 feet long and weigh up to 4200 pounds.

Table of Contents


Narwhals are unique in their appearance and can be distinguished easily by their unicorn like teeth. The sword like tusk which grows through the upper lip of them may be 8 to 9 feet long. It is not sure for which purpose the tusk is there. Normally narwhals use their spiral sword like tooth to show their dominance to female and also to attack in danger.

According to recent researches, narwhal’s tusk is a sensing organ which they use to detect the change in the temperature, pressure of the water and to guess about the coming danger. The females are smaller than males and their tusk is less prominent than that of males. Narwhals also have another tooth inside the skull. Even some males have been found having two teeth.

Narwhal Habitat and Diet

Narwhals are found in the arctic sea near Greenland and Canada and in the Russian water. According to studies, around 90 percent narwhals in the world are found in the Baffin Bay. The major population of narwhals travels a significant distance during the changing of seasons from summer to winter.

This unique animal species feeds on fish, squid and shrimps. Narwhals sometimes also depend on Greenland halibut and arctic cod. Narwhals don’t have strong teeth like most whales, so they usually move close to the prey silently and then swallow it with force.

Narwhal Life Style

There is not much info available about the reproduction process of the whale, but it is usually believed that male attracts the female with their tusk and mates. A male narwhal becomes sexually matured at the age of ten to twelve years while the females get matured at about five to eight years of age. The female gives birth to the baby narwhal called calf after the pregnancy period of around 14 months. Females usually give birth after every three years. The baby narwhal moves with the mother for around 20 months.

The calf is normally 80 kg in weight and 5 feet long at the time of the birth. The male calves grow the tusk with age. Baby narwhals also change their color with age. The calf is usually blue grey, the young ones are black grey, adults are brownish and the old ones are completely while.

Narwhal Lifespan

The average lifespan of narwhals may be as long as 50 years but they rarely live that much. They may die due to health issues or the suffocation caused by the frozen ice above them. Also they may fall prey to various predators, like polar beer, whales or orcas. There are around 75 thousand narwhals in the sea currently.


Narwhals are usually very lazy animal that moves slowly. But during danger, they can move fast enough to save their lives from the predators. Narwhals prefer to live in the shallow sea because there are enough food for them; but they can also dive up to 1.5 km deep to evade from attackers. During winters, narwhals prefer to live under the ice packed surface of the sea. The cracks in the sea help them inhale oxygen to survive.

Narwhals are found to travel in the groups of 10 to 15 members. These groups may have females and youngsters called ‘nurseries’ or the adult males called ‘bulls.’ Narwhals use various signals like sequel, clicks and trills to communicate with other narwhals. Male narwhals often cross their tusk with other narwhal’s tusk to clean them. It is known as tusking and also a symbol of friendly contact.

Images, Pics, Photos and Pictures of Narwhal :

Predators and Threats

The major predators of narwhals are the polar beers and orcas. They often get caught in the ice and became unable to move and thus get killed. Killer whales often attack in the narwhal groups and such attack may cause the death of around ten to fifteen narwhals at once. Also, humans are allowed to kill this animal species legally. This adds to the difficulty for narwhals to survive as humans are the most dangerous hunters today.

Another major problem for narwhals is climate change since it is making the arctic warmer day by day. Also, the arctic fish which are the major diet for narwhals are being affected by climatic changes. The recent studies tell that narwhals are more sensitive to climate change than that of polar beers. Narwhals can also die of starvation.

Also the increasing number of marine activities and moving ships has increased the level of noise pollution greatly. Since the mammals like narwhals and whales usually communicate through various signals, these signals are distorted due to noise pollution. As a result, narwhals may face problems in communicating, get separated from the group and may fall prey to other animals easily.

Importance Of Narwhals

Narwhals along with whales are at the top of food chain and they play a significant role in maintaining the overall balance of marine food chain. Narwhals are also culturally important for the people living in arctic. In ancient times, narwhals used to be harvested by the arctic people. But humans nowadays kill narwhals and consume their meat. Also the skin of narwhal is used in the leather industry.

Narwhals Interesting Facts For Kids

The unicorn of sea ‘Narwhal’ is a unique mammal because of its tusk, but there are several other interesting facts about it:

  • Narwhals along with beluga whales are the last two remaining whales of Monodontidae family.
  • Narwhals swim with their belly up and often become motionless. It seems like they are just dead when they start moving again.
  • The tusk of narwhal is very costly and a single tusk of narwhal may cost up to $30,000.

Narwhals are a unique animal species whose existence is being affected due to climate change. We should start worrying about this before the situation gets worse.

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Humans: The Most Dangerous Invasive Species

We’ve have really had a devastating effect on the environment.

Henry Ford once said, “don’t find fault; find a remedy.”

According to the National Invasive Species Council, an invasive species is defined as an alien species whose non-native introduction does, or is likely to, cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Another definition, this one by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, states that invasive species are “animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution. generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species.” But none of these terms or the lists of the world’s worst invasive species include possibly the worst of them all. Humans.

Breaking those definitions down, Homo sapiens fit every aspect. An invasive species is widespread; humans are found somewhere on every continent and are literally the over the globe. Invasive species are non-native; Humans have colonized every continent somehow, usually by forcing out whatever population or species was there before. An invasive species had adverse effects on the new habitat or is harmful to human health; humans fit into this part of the definition in more ways than one.

Humans even wrote the definition on what classifies as an invasive species.

While some people argue that humans are not invasive species, due to a close reading of the definition, we can’t deny that may be more harmful to the environment than any other animal. In the last fifty years, human activities have drastically changed earth’s ecosystem in efforts to meet the increased demands of our ever-growing population.

From removing natural habitats to make room for urban communities to excessive industrial activities to a significant increase in air pollution to constant deforestation, the human race has had a significant, negative impact on the place we call home. We will never truly destroy earth, however, because the planet finds a way to change and adapt to new conditions. It’s how the environmental changes affect the human population. Humans need a certain amount of food and water, resources that are slowly but surely going to run out. We can only live in certain temperatures and we require clean air.

So whether humans are an invasive species or not does not matter. In the end, we’re the ones who have made this mess. And we’re going to have to be the ones to clean it up.


Danger Beneath the Water: 10 Facts About Leopard Seals

by Caitlyn Bishop Blog

Danger Beneath the Water: 10 Facts About Leopard Seals

If your sense of adventure takes you on an Antarctic cruise, you may be lucky enough to cross paths with a leopard seal. They’re amazing creatures to observe in and out of the water, and a quintessential aspect of the Antarctic experience. But while leopard seals play a unique role in Antarctic ecosystems, they are still widely misunderstood as a species.

As we will soon see, however, there are many interesting aspects to life as one of the Southern Ocean’s most fearsome predators.

1. They’re the Third Largest Seal in the World

Female leopard seals, the larger of the two sexes, can reach weights of 590 kilograms (1300 pounds), and grow to lengths of up to three meters (10 feet). Their bodies are long and slender, and their heads appear to be almost a little too large for their thin, serpent-like bodies. This specialized streamline body shape is excellent for propelling them through the water at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. Elephant seals and Walrus are larger than Leopard seals.

2. Leopard Seals are Exceptionally Solitary Animals

Leopard seals do not play well with others! Generally, they hunt alone and are typically never seen with more than one or two other individuals at a time. Exceptions to this solitary behavior include the annual breeding period from November to March, when multiple individuals will aggregate together. Due to their exceptionally nasty demeanor and solitary nature, however, little is known about their entire reproductive cycle. Scientists are still trying to figure out how leopard seals choose their mates and how they establish territories.

3. Sometimes They Smile!

The ends of the leopard seal’s mouth are permanently curled upward, creating the illusion of a smile or menacing grin. This feature adds to their already intimidating presence, and is not to be trusted. However happy they may be to see you, they are potentially aggressive animals that will always be keeping an eye out for the next meal. In the rare occasion that they haul out on land, they’ll defend their personal space by issuing a warning growl at anything that comes too close.

4. The Leopard Seal Sings Underwater

During the breeding season, leopard seals can become extremely vocal. These vocalizations have been recorded by scientists and are currently being studied to answer questions about their ecology. While little is known about why these vocalizations occur, it is thought that they are linked to aspects of their breeding and reproductive behaviors. During these studies, underwater microphones, or hydrophones, are placed around pack ice, where leopard seals spend most of their time in the summer. It can be difficult for scientists to determine what exactly the seals are doing when they produce these vocalizations. Restrictions including navigating pack ice and the seals’ aggressive demeanor make these particular studies especially troublesome to perform.

5. Gestation Lasts for 11 Months

Female leopard seals are the first to reach sexual maturity, and do so between ages three to seven. Males take a little bit longer, and typically reach maturity between ages six and seven. Females usually have only one pup per year. Pups are born on ice floes, large chunks of ice, and kept in small snow holes that the females dig out during their pregnancy. Here, the mother will nurse the pup, and eventually teach it how to hunt in the plentiful Antarctic waters.

6. Leopard Seals Have Very Few Predators

It’s not easy maintaining a long and healthy lifestyle in Antarctic environments, and leopard seals are lucky to have not only a generalized diet, but also few predators. Killer whales are currently the only recognized predator to leopard seals. If they manage to escape the wrath of the killer whale, they can live up to 26 years old. While they’re not the longest living mammal in the world, they can live for an impressively long time given their intense and tumultuous environment.

7. They’ve Been Known to “Feed” Photographers

With Antarctic wildlife work come potentially dangerous situations. Despite the numerous workplace hazards, National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen dove head first into Antarctic waters to catch an up-close glimpse of leopard seals in their natural habitat. Instead of an angry sea-demon, he encountered a sympathetic female leopard seal that seemed to think that he was a smaller, less intelligent leopard seal. For days, the seal brought Nicklen penguins that ranged from mostly alive to completely dead. She was trying to feed him, or was at least trying to teach him how to hunt and feed on his own. Much to her dismay, Nicklen wasn’t too interested in what she had to offer, but walked away with an amazing experience and phenomenal photographs of an intruiging predator.

8. Leopard Seals Can Also Be Very Dangerous to Humans

Sadly, there is a flip side to Paul Nicklen’s amazing encounter. It can be a dangerous endeavor to try to study these creatures, and in one case, leopard seals have been known to kill a human. Most recently, a marine biologist working with the British Antarctic Survey drowned after being dragged nearly 200 feet below the surface of the water by a leopard seal. It’s currently unclear if the leopard seal intended to kill the biologist, but is most importantly a sobering reminder of the true nature of these wild animals.

9. Leopard Seals​ Have a Very Diverse Diet

Antarctic krill compose about 45% of the leopard seal’s overall diet. Their teeth are grooved in specialized ways that allow them to filter krill out of the water, making them easy prey items to consume. Their diets can vary, however, depending on their location and availability of other tastier prey items. Unlike other members of the seal family, the leopard seal’s diet includes other Antarctic marine mammals. Most commonly, the crabeater seal, Weddell seal, and Antarctic fur seal fall prey to the leopard seal’s insatiable appetite. In addition to Antarctic mammals, leopard seals have an acquired a taste for Adèlie, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Rockhopper, King, and Emperor penguins, and have also been known to eat fish and cephalopods. There’s really nothing that they won’t eat!

10. They “Play” With Their Food

When a leopard seal grows tired of eating, but still wants to be entertained, they’ll seek out penguins or young seals to play “cat and mouse” with. As a penguin swims towards to shore, the seal will cut them off and chase them back towards the water. They’ll do this over and over again, until the penguin either successfully makes it back to shore, or succumb to exhaustion. There doesn’t seem to be any point to this game, especially since the seals are expending great amounts of energy on this game, and may not even eat the animals that they kill. Scientists have speculated that this is distinctly for sport, or could possibly be younger, immature seals looking to sharpen their hunting skills.

While cruising through Antarctic waters, make sure to always keep an eye out on ice floes for sleeping leopard seals. When they’re not searching for a meal or a game to play, they’ll haul out on the ice to rest. Their distinctive features and unmistakable grin make them an easy spot!


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