Mystery organism photo of the month – November

There are two organisms in this photo…  who can tell me what the small round scaly things are?

And for bonus points, whats the other organism in the photo?

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2 Responses to Mystery organism photo of the month – November

  1. Jen Moore says:

    tuatara ticks! i’d recognise those from a mile away 🙂

  2. Copernicus says:

    hmmm, is this Amblyomma sphenodonti, one of only three endemic tick species in NZ, in which case the second organism is, as Jen suggests, the tuatara?

    (Or are you trying to sneak in another reptile/tick combo as the Komodo Dragon and Ambylomma komodoense?)

    Logically of course, as the tuatara is threatened so it’s parasite is simlarly under threat. I understand that the tick has a more severely restricted geographic distribution than its host, as it is found on only eight of 28 islands (four out of 12 island groups) where tuatara still live.*

    *Hilary C. Miller, H.C., Conrad, A.M., Barker, S.C, and Daugherty, C.H. Distribution and phylogenetic analyses of an endangered tick, Amblyomma sphenodonti. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 2007, Vol. 34: 97–105

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