I blogged recently about the Sexton beetle, and mentioned the little brown mite that you could just about see in my original picture. By happy coincidence a correspondent from Scotland emailed in the far superior picture above showing many mites, and very clearly too – thanks Jenny!

She was surprised to see them appear fairly suddenly on this beetle, it having been devoid of them in a previous picture before it crawled onto what I am told is a fungus (though it looks far worse). Perhaps they were hiding on the underside of the beetle, or maybe they only climbed aboard once it got to the fungus? We shall probably never know, but they are thought to use the beetles as a means of transportation between feeding sites.

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