A STICKY SIT­U­A­TION

Why don’t slug mites stick to their hosts?

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild October -

Lit­tle de­tailed work has been done on slug mites, and one en­dur­ing mys­tery sur­round­ing th­ese fas­ci­nat­ing par­a­sites is why they don’t stick to slug mu­cous. What mech­a­nisms al­low them to skip lightly across the grey gel?

Many other arach­nids utilise a hy­dropho­bic (wa­ter-re­pelling) se­cre­tion on their feet so that they can op­er­ate in wet con­di­tions. Since slug slime is a liq­uid crys­tal mostly com­prised of wa­ter, why would this not work for th­ese mites too?

Oc­to­ber 2017

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