A Symbiotic Relationship - Carrion Beetles and Mites

carrion beetle with mites

photo by sally king

Carrion beetles and individuals of some species of mites can have a symbiotic relationship. Each derives a benefit from the other. The mites climb aboard the carrion beetle to be transported to new food supplies they could never reach by foot. The mites in turn eat the eggs and freshly hatched maggots of flies that compete with beetle larvae for the food source. Therefore, a mite-laden beetle is more likely to have offspring that survive.
 
carrion beetle with mites 2
Mites ride on carrion beetles to get to their next meal.

photo by sally king

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Mailing Address:

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance RD

Los Alamos, NM 87544

Phone:

(505) 672-3861 x517
Visitor Center front desk

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