Ecological Notes on Free-Living Mites in North Victoria Land

  1. J. Linsley Gressitt
  1. J. Linsley Gressitt and
  2. J. Linsley Shoup

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/AR010p0307

Entomology of Antarctica

Entomology of Antarctica

How to Cite

Gressitt, J. L. and Shoup, J. L. (1967) Ecological Notes on Free-Living Mites in North Victoria Land, in Entomology of Antarctica (ed J. L. Gressitt), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/AR010p0307

Author Information

  1. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1967

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875901107

Online ISBN: 9781118668696



  • Cape Hallett;
  • Free-living mites;
  • North Victoria Land;
  • Possession Island;
  • Transect C and D


At least ten species of mites occur in Victoria Land, 9 in the north and 3 in the south; 2 species are common to both areas, or are even more widely distributed. Seven species belong to the Prostigmata, or trombidiform mites, and only one to the Cryptostigmata, or oribatid mites. No free-living Mesostigmata are known from Victoria Land. Most of the Prostigmata feed upon algae and are rather active mites, while the single oribatid feeds on fruticose lichens and is very slow-moving. The mites occur rather widely under stones, even where no macroscopic vegetation is visible, but are found in greatest numbers among algae. By far the largest populations were found among algae growing on feathers on the lower parts of long-dead penguins, particularly under the wings. Thousands of eggs were found on the belly feathers, and also under rocks and in cracks in soil rich in decomposed birds, feathers, and guano.