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Protea mites - Walk in Africa
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Walk in Africa / Nature Stories  / Protea mites
11 Oct

Protea mites

In general the bearded sugarbush Proteas are delightful to the touch. They are silky and cushioned. Most of the time it’s fine to stroke these flowers for some sensual indulgence – but beware the protea itch mites (Protolaelaps vanderbergii).


e small insects hitch rides on birds and beetles from one protea flowerhead to the next. They feed on pollen and nectar obtained from the Proteas. They may well be involved in pollination too. The flowers may have as many as 6,000 of these creatures on them. When a bird lands on a flower, the mites stream onto them and get comfortable for a ride to the next flowerhead.

So beware what you touch for your thrills!

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