A wealth of unexplored diversity
Mites in the Rainforest poster
Rainforests are renowned as storehouses of terrestrial biodiversity. The rich array of plants, birds, reptiles and insects in a rainforest habitat like that of Lamington National Park is immediately apparent to a human visitor. But the more closely one looks at the rainforest, the more astounding this biological diversity becomes. For tiny animals like mites (Arachnida: Acari), most around half a millimetre long, a rainforest is not a single habitat, but a complex mosaic of thousands of potential homes. A single mossy branch in the forest canopy provides homes to fungus mites, orchid mites, bark mites, and fern mites. Beetles and parrots that visit the branch also carry their own mite cargo. The forest floor and streams, and the other animals found in the rainforest, all house specific groups of mites. But despite their occurrence in most habitats, almost nothing is know of the behaviour, ecology, or true diversity of mites in Australia. Here we present just a small sample of the beautiful and mysterious mites that can be found in Lamington’s rainforest.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2000.
The Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) supports research and publications on the taxonomy (classification, identity, biology and relationships) of Australia’s rich biodiversity. As one of its projects, ABRS is supporting research on the rainforest mites in Lamington National Park, Queensland.
Researchers: Dr. David Walter is a senior lecturer in the Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Queensland. Dr. Heather Proctor lectures in the Australian School of Environmental Studies at Griffith University. Both are members of the Cooperative Centre for Rainforest Ecology, and Dave Walter is also associated with the Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Protection.
Artist: Janet Hauser. Micro photography: David Evans Walter.
Artwork & design: Extreme Graphics. Printing: InPrint
About this poster
Australian Biological Resources Study
Community Information Unit
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
Ground Level, John Gorton Building
Parkes ACT 2600
1800 803 772 (within Australia)
+61 2 6274 1970