This red watermite is probably a member of the Piona species,
inhabiting standing fresh water, particularly weedy margins
of lakes and ponds. These freshwater habitats are especially
vulnerable to physical disturbance and chemical pollution.
-1 two red watermites
-2 Cristella mucedo, a a bryozoan.
-4 Piscicola, a leech.
-5 Branchipus schaefferi, a fairy shrimp
-6 Plumatella, a bryozoan.
-7 Apus, a arthropod
-8 Planorbis planorbis, a snail
Watermites, a litho 1907 made by J. Green, many watermites can be seen , but its very hard to add the right name to them.
This litho is composed from sketches made by Saville Kent in 1860, the first researcher of watermites.
The red watermite is the most abundant watermite and is
a about a millimeter long, It looks like a moving
Water Mites go through four stages of life: egg, larva, nymph and adult.
The larva will cling to the outside of a waterinesct like Water Boatman,
and parasite this insect until the larva is fully grown. Then it drops
off and turns into a nymph. The nymph is a predator that grabs young
Water Fleas. It clings to an underwater plant and changes into its adult form.
The adult form will mate and the circle is closed.
The enemies of the watermite
The red color is a warning for predators that the red watermite
is uneatable due to its bad taste. A salamander who eats a
red watermite spits it out. But this only works if
the predator is a fish or watersalamander.
But a hydra lives in the same
habitat as the watermite and has no taste or vision.
Breathing of the watermite
The watermite has no gills as there skin is thin
enough for the transport of oxygen.
But of course, the water itself has to
contain oxygen, so it must be clean.
This is the most important reason why these
Freshwater inhabitants are especially vulnerable
to physical disturbance and chemical pollution.
Two watermites, the red one is protected by its red warningcolor,
the other uses it green camouflage as a protection .
With thanks to Jaap Cost Budde