Amblypygi killed by mites?

norcalfourrunner

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
18
I have had a Damon sp Amblypygi for several months. It appeared to be quite healthy and eating regularly. Temps and humidity were appropriate.

I was gone for two days and came home and discovered it was dead. Upon removing the body from the tank I noticed about a half dozen to a dozen small, white/creamish colored mites that moved quite quickly on the body. As I dragged the body out they all jumped off or dissapeared and I was unable to preserve any before they escaped. I have no idea exactly how long it was dead, could have been between a few hours and 24 hours.

Prior to this moment, I had never observed mites of any kind on the Amblypygi nor in the tank.

The ONLY thing I can think of, which I am kicking myself for, is adding a couple pieces of bark from outside that I did not boil, only rinsed. I put them in about 4-5 days before I found her dead. That is the only "change" I have made to her care in the last month or so.

Has anyone experienced mites on amblys ? Could they have been there all along and too small to notice? Or did they just happen to take the opportunity to munch on a dead critter?

Or am I a fool and did I introduce a wild parasite by poor sanitation?

Tank has been quarantined. No sign of mites elsewhere that I can see. Tank will be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized, and all new substrate and plants replaced. Wish I could have gotten a picture, but they dissapeared quick.
 

Ratmosphere

Arachnoking
Joined
Aug 23, 2015
Messages
2,215
Sorry for your loss. I am a huge believer in heat treating objects found outside.
 

Philth

N.Y.H.C.
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 4, 2003
Messages
2,718
Mites usually don't jump, are you sure they weren't springtails or something else ? I often find mites on my dead inverts if they are laying there for awhile. Many mites are scavengers and come after the fact of death, and weren't the cause of it. I also think baking or microwaving decor found outside is silly, a waste a time, and a risk of burning down your house lol.

Later, Tom
 

wizentrop

to the rescue!
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 20, 2005
Messages
434
I join Tom's comment above. While wild amblypygids are sometimes found carrying parasitic mites, those don't seem to cause them too much damage. I highly doubt mites were the cause of your Damon's death. It was more likely something else (old age, or a sudden change of temps/humidity level), and the mites "joined the party" after it was already dead.
 

InvertsandOi

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
218
Moving fast and jumping? I agree that it sounds like springtails. Either way, probably has nothing to do with the loss of the ambly.
 

norcalfourrunner

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
18
Sorry, poor use of language. They did not jump. More like as I grabbed it they flaked off. However they were most certainly mites, and only visible on the body. I meant fast moving in terms of mite speed
 

norcalfourrunner

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
18
Mites usually don't jump, are you sure they weren't springtails or something else ? I often find mites on my dead inverts if they are laying there for awhile. Many mites are scavengers and come after the fact of death, and weren't the cause of it. I also think baking or microwaving decor found outside is silly, a waste a time, and a risk of burning down your house lol.

Later, Tom
Yeah they were definitely mites. I dont generally sterilize anything, just rinse it with hot water. But it was the only variable that was different within the last month before it died. So, being hard on myself, I assumed they came in on the bark and killed it.

Maybe they were just scavengers. The specimen doesn't look malnourished or appear to have any significant damage to the body anywhere. Perhaps just scavengers and and coincidence that I put a few new pieces of bark in there a few days prior. Thanks for the replies so far.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,667
Overlooking a small detail here. The assumption of a primary cause of death. According to morbidity, Mites could be the primary cause but biologically speaking they are more commonly a contributor cause taking stress into account. Parasites should only be considered the cause of death when all other pathogens are ruled out.
 

norcalfourrunner

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
18
Overlooking a small detail here. The assumption of a primary cause of death. According to morbidity, Mites could be the primary cause but biologically speaking they are more commonly a contributor cause taking stress into account. Parasites should only be considered the cause of death when all other pathogens are ruled out.
What common pathogens are encountered with Amblypygi? I maintained a temperature of 80 degrees F. Humidty was about 40-50% during the day and 70-80% at night. She was in a 12x12x18 and on the smaller side. Seemed to be eating about a cricket or so a week. Almost never handled. This was my first ambly so I am not sure what went wrong.

Unless I was sent a weak or old critter to begin with. The company I got it from shipped me a dead one initially.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,667
What common pathogens are encountered with Amblypygi?
Right. Good question. Has there ever been a cross spectrum long term trend morbidity report cranked out regarding these animals?
Without some such white paper the phrase 'Blind men looting a bazaar for their own portraits' comes to mind.
 
Last edited:

InvertsandOi

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
218
What common pathogens are encountered with Amblypygi? I maintained a temperature of 80 degrees F. Humidty was about 40-50% during the day and 70-80% at night. She was in a 12x12x18 and on the smaller side. Seemed to be eating about a cricket or so a week. Almost never handled. This was my first ambly so I am not sure what went wrong.

Unless I was sent a weak or old critter to begin with. The company I got it from shipped me a dead one initially.
Doesn't sound to me like you did anything wrong. Unless there's a centipede or something hiding in one of those bark pieces, I would chock it up to old age. That sucks man. I know if my ambly died I'd be super bummed about it.
 

schmiggle

Arachnoking
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
2,073
First off, humidity 40-50% during the day is a bit low, but I've definitely had humidities like that for a while and never noticed a problem. Usually, when humidity is too low, my amblypygid hangs out near the soil, where humidity is almost always at least 80%. Did you notice anything like that? I know D. diadema is generally supposed to be more tolerant of lower humidity.
Second, 80 degrees might be a little high, given that many amblypygids prefer lower temperatures, but again, I doubt it, I would assume that that's within the happy temperature limits for a D. diadema.
Third, if you were shipped a wild-caught adult, you have no control of either its age (outside of adult) or of its parasite load. So most likely it just died of old age, or maybe of a disease it caught in the wild or in transit. How big was she when she died? Given that amblypygi grow over the course of their lives, if she was particularly large that would mean she was rather old.
 

norcalfourrunner

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
18
Thanks for all the replies. I think i am going to chaulk it up to old age. I know these are a gamble in general when wild caught.
 
Top