Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for July 3rd, 2013

A mite large for a mite

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Tiny Orange Mite on Texas Thistle Flower Head Bracts 4187

It may seem strange for me to describe the tiny orange creature on a bract of this Texas thistle as “a mite large,” but the second part of the title is my justification: “for a mite.” According to the relevant Wikipedia article, “Mites are among the most diverse and successful of all the invertebrate groups. They have exploited an incredible array of habitats, and because of their small size (most are microscopic) go largely unnoticed.” The orange one shown here wasn’t microscopic—you can see it, after all—therefore it’s a mite large for a mite.

I’ve showed several pictures of Cirsium texanum in these pages, but this one gives you a particularly good look at the individual flowers the make up the lower portion of a Texas thistle flower head.

This photograph comes from the same June 13th session on Burnet Rd. near the old Merrilltown Cemetery that not long ago brought you five images of basket-flowers, including an American painted lady butterfly on a fresh one and a tan grasshopper camouflaged on a drying one.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 3, 2013 at 6:18 AM

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