Image: Close up of the head of a Funnel-web spider with mites
A close up of the head of a Funnel-web spider that is infested with phoretic mites. The mites (brown dots) can be seen surrounding the eyes
- Carl Bento
- © Australian Museum
- Australian Museum
These mites are deutonymphs (second instar nymphs) of some species of the family Acaridae. The deutonymph in these species is a non-feeding stage that functions only for dispersal. This morph is called a hypopus (plural hypopodes) and will be attached to the spider by a ventral sucker plate. They are not parasites.