mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

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mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Will Atkins » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:07 pm

I was reviewing some photos I took last year of Moorish geckos and noticed what looked like lots of red spider mites on their feet and elsewhere. Only I think they're just tiny red dots, which makes their rock-like colour and texture even more convincingly cryptic. Anyone else noticed this? Am I drawing the right conclusion or why else would they have these dots? Anyway, they fooled me! :oops:

link to photo below, as an example:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/100121190 ... en-public/
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Re: mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:09 pm

Imo these are spider mites.
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Re: mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Will Atkins » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:13 pm

Yes, I thought that. But the ones by the eyes look irregular and no sign of legs etc... I wish I had taken a better photo...
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Re: mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Mario Schweiger » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:29 am

all are mites.
larvae and imagines

mario
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Please visit also my personal Herp-site vipersgarden.at
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Re: mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:31 am

Geckobia
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Re: mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Will Atkins » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:02 pm

Thanks - embarrassment factor 10 :oops: :lol:

But...as with everything else in science, one question answered, raises several more...what do they get from being commensal / parasitic / mutualistic on geckos? Protection, warmer microhabitat, food (old skin cells?) Do they spend their whole lives on the gecko, do they move from one to another ? too many questions, but I'm suddenly interested in the little critters and their reptilian 'islands'.
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Re: mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:18 pm

They are blood parasites.
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Re: mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:42 pm

Or rather: they feed on gecko blood (because blood parasites probably rather relates to parasites living inside the blood).
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Re: mimicry in Tarentola mauritanica

Postby Will Atkins » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:10 pm

thank you Jeroen. I suppose their presence at the corners of the eyes and between the toes makes for easier access to blood vessels. I wonder if they take the place of the ticks which occur on Lacertids, or perhaps geckos are equally affected by them as well.
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