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PhotosLife is everywhere

11th Feb 2020 20:31 UTCMartin Rich Expert

Also an interesting photo for entomologists.
Sorry, I could not resist to make this joke. (:

11th Feb 2020 22:07 UTCRoger Curry

Any idea what that beastie is Martin?

11th Feb 2020 23:59 UTCDavid Carter

It looks like some sort of mite, haven’t a clue what type though. Many live in the soil as decomposers. In any event, it’s a great mineral photo with the marvellous added bonus of an organism too!

12th Feb 2020 16:59 UTCMiguel Rocha

Thank you so much.

12th Feb 2020 00:50 UTCDavid Carter

Delving a little deeper, it’s quite possibly in the Astigmatina cohort of mites. They’re normally associated with parasitising vertebrates and invertebrates, but they can also be present in large amounts in some soils, where they are usually soft-bodied, tiny and white, with long setae.

Just imagine what else is hiding away and living in or upon all your personal specimens at home!

12th Feb 2020 00:58 UTCPaul Brandes Manager

I've been trying to figure out what you fellas have been talking about all day!! It wasn't until I got home on the desktop that I finally figured it out.

12th Feb 2020 01:29 UTCKevin Conroy Manager

That thing is definitely lurking in the shadows, whatever it is.   This brought back a recent discussion about a FedEx package being held by Customs/Biosecurity.   Maybe their concerns were more founded than we thought!

12th Feb 2020 01:50 UTCKeith Compton Manager

Thinking about it, unless the photograph was taken reasonably soon after finding the specimen, the life form is presumably "post mining". In which case it is likely that it is from an office or home environment.

As the specimen is Portuguese, its owner may also be in Portugal so perhaps this life form is possibly an example of a European dust mite: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus.

13th Feb 2020 04:05 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder

Yes, when I added data on fossils I may have accidentally added data on *everything*

13th Feb 2020 11:21 UTCLarry Maltby Expert

How do you find the fossil pages on Mindat?

14th Feb 2020 02:21 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder


14th Feb 2020 02:22 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder

Or just search for a fossil name in the top search, eg trilobite

12th Feb 2020 08:57 UTCRui Nunes Expert

Sometimes these little beings develop at home. The eggs are deposited in the specimen and they are not detectable with the naked eye. It happened to me several times with specimens from wet environments.

12th Feb 2020 10:35 UTCLuís Costa

This made me think about the cleanness of my own collection... :) 

12th Feb 2020 11:58 UTCLuca Baralis Expert

Me too!
How to sanitize it ?
Actually I found some similar mite in some new collected specimen and I did resolve with a bath in alcol, or H2O2.

12th Feb 2020 17:03 UTCMiguel Rocha

I also use H2O2.

12th Feb 2020 16:35 UTCMartin Rich Expert

I'm really not an expert in this area, but I think this beast is a hollow cast of a (dust) mite. They are living from any organic material out there and yes also in our home.

BTW, a nice arsenopyrite and great photograph!

12th Feb 2020 17:01 UTCMiguel Rocha

Than you so much Martin and for the beginning of the discussion that helped to understand what it possible was the small "guardian" of this arsenopyrite :)

12th Feb 2020 16:57 UTCMiguel Rocha

It’s really rewarding to learn new things and who would say that such a small being would give so much talk and interest :)

In fact, this photo was taken on 06-02-2020 and i have in my files a photo taken back in 2018 of the same mineral and there was nothing there. So it must have inhabited within that date.

The mineral itself, was kept in one of those boxes of chocolates... So it must have been due the dust acquired that gained this little fella.

This mite must be very resistant.. Because before shooting this photo, i washed the mineral with a sprinkler with water, dried it with a hair dryer in the heat mode with maximum power and let it rest for a couple of hours!

In the stacking process, it was possible to see some black dots moving inside the mite, very cool!!!

12th Feb 2020 22:33 UTCRui Nunes Expert

The best way to kill this bug is with photoshop :~)

12th Feb 2020 22:43 UTCMiguel Rocha

Indeed!!! :) 

12th Feb 2020 22:51 UTCMartin Rich Expert

"The mineral itself was kept in one of those boxes of chocolates...."

A sweet mite! You should take care about the healthiness of your mites and feed them also with vegetables.

I hope you understand my sort of humor!  :)

13th Feb 2020 04:49 UTCHerwig Pelckmans Expert

Don't forget the cheese ... and wine or beer: after all that hot air, it has to be thirsty !!
Cheers, Herwig

13th Feb 2020 10:54 UTCMiguel Rocha

Just for the record... The mite its well, in a new diet and in a new acrylic home. 

Thanks for the tips! :D 

13th Feb 2020 21:02 UTCRod Martin Expert

This little beastie was found in the centre of a basalt boulder (late Miocene) at Te Henga Quarry, Waitakere Ranges, NZ. Note that when sent to be studied for an ID it was "lost" by the reseacher, would certainly be interested if anyone comes across any further reference to this insect. Nb And we didn't get any ID for it!

13th Feb 2020 23:05 UTCDavid Carter

If I were to hazard a guess with yours Rod I would say it’s a type of midge, perhaps a fungus gnat, or distant relative thereof.

What’s the white residue coating the insect and surrounding areas, do you know if that’s organic too, or is it a mineral?

14th Feb 2020 03:43 UTCRod Martin Expert

My best guess at the time was opal (A or AN) although there was fibrous erionite associated with it. It appeared to be a complete pseudomorph and the only exit from the vugh was too small for it to pass through.The researcher (entomologist) didn't believe that he could correlate it to any present NZ species. Unfortunate as Dunedin University is presently excavating a maar with a number of Miocene insects being found in the sediments there.

14th Feb 2020 00:30 UTCPaul Brandes Manager

Looks like something I'd put on a tiny hook and flyfish with..... ;-)
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