Macrochelidae - Macrocheles nr. penicilliger - undescribed species
Macrocheles nr. penicilliger - undescribed species
Group Guild Status
Eutroglophile Predator Uncommon?
Macrocheles is the largest genus in this family of predatory mites. They are primarily predators on small invertebrates in dung deposits. Many species are ecologically tied to dung beetles (primarily species of scarab beetles), which they use phoretically for dispersal (Krantz 1998). This mite was found in the front part of the cave in the Crinoid Room. These mites may be associated with the feces of the white-throated wood rats (Neotoma sp.) that live in the boulder complex of the collapsed Entrance Sink. They could also potentially find forage on ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) or other mammalian scat in this same area of the cave. The species is likely to be uncommon in the cave, but should be present year-round, and probably completes its life cycle in the cave. We consider Macrocheles nr. penicilliger to be a troglophile in the cave.
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