This mite be one of the most unusual discoveries in Zoology

Taylor & Francis

Discovery of a new genus and species of soil mite

Soil samples taken from Ohio, USA reveal the discovery of a new genus and species of Nematalycidae. The long, slender, ‘worm-like’ body of the Nematalycidae makes it an unusual family of soil mites.

The study, published in Journal of Natural History reveals the discovery of a fifth genus of Nematalycidae. As with the other four species written about, all adults recovered were female.   

The name of this new species, Osperalycus tenerphagus, is a reflection of the physical qualities it possesses. ‘Ospera-’ combines the Latin terms for ‘mouth’ and ‘purse/bag’, referencing the creature’s soft mouth. ‘Tenerphagus’ consists of the Latin terms for ‘tender’ and ‘feeding’ which the study’s authors explain refers to the ‘delicate mechanism hypothesized to explain how this mite may carefully pick up small micro-organisms and place them into its feeding vessel without rupturing them’.

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