• mariagross

Masses of Red Water Mites

July 24

It was a lovely summer evening and we decided to wander over to Pentacook and just hang out a while in the first large cove on the east side, located just after entering Zone 12 at the cove’s entrance. (Grids 930,929, 969,968 + 1008)


In amongst the many boulders there were the expected native plants, mostly thin grasses and pondweeds, a little bladderwort (several Utricularia purpurea, each with a small purple flower), and lots of water lilies with buds of all colors just about to come into full display.

When we stopped to linger and take in the peacefulness that surrounded us I looked down and saw the multiple amazing displays of Red water mites bobbing with the current. There must have been about a dozen in one spot, then more groups of them just a little further beyond to the right and left…up and down the southern side of that cove. So tiny, so silent and so alive.

Red water mites move randomly and perhaps I will never see these sorts of clusters again… but I might!

Tiny Red water mite

Utricularia purpurea


This photo of the water's surface reflects the sky above. Linger and look closely at this scene. Just under that water's surface are Red water mites floating EVERYWHERE as small red dots.


Here is an interesting discussion of the life and habits of Red water mites— (https://www.backyardnature.net/n/a/red-mite.htm)


I could not detect if the one on my finger had legs, whatever number. Unfortunately I didn't have a tray of water with me to drop the mite in for closer inspection. But from the side of the skiff I could actually see that the mites had some number of appendages.


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