Alaskozetes antarcticus

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Alaskozetes antarcticus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acari
Order: Sarcoptiformes
Suborder: Oribatida
Family: Ameronothridae
Genus: Alaskozetes
Species: A. antarcticus
Binomial name
Alaskozetes antarcticus
(Michael, 1903)

Alaskozetes antarcticus is a species of non-parasitic mite, known for its ability to survive in subzero temperatures.[1]

This animal's name derives from its habitat: Alasko, meaning "from Alaska", and antarcticus, in connection with frigid conditions in which the mite lives. Scientists are unclear as to how Alaskozetes antacticus has been able to adapt to an environment so different from those of other arthropods. Whereas most arthropod species inhabit hot, moist environments, A. antarcticus survives in freezing conditions with almost no humidity.[1]

There are three subspecies: Alaskozetes antarcticus antarcticus, Alaskozetes antarcticus grandjeani, and Alaskozetes antarcticus intermedius.[2]


The Alaskozetes antarcticus eats moss, algae and fungi. Contrary to popular belief these mites do not suck blood. They are harmless to humans and large organisms.[3]


  1. ^ a b Luke Sandro & Juanita Constible. "Antarctic Bestiary". Miami University. Retrieved June 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Alaskozetes antarcticus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. 
  3. ^ Burn, A. J. (1986). "Feeding Rates of the Cryptostumatid mite Alaskizetes Antarcticus (Michael)" (PDF). Br. Antarct. Surv. Bull. 71: 11–17. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-18.