Speaking of the attractiveness of various arthropods, I had an argument with some of my beekeeping students last summer over whether Varroa mites were cute. I happen to think cuteness is a quality independent of economic effects. And Varroa destructor- all roly-poly and pleasingly pudgy- is pretty cute for a mite.
Of course, this little arachnid almost single-handedly brought down the U.S. beekeeping industry. Varroa feeds on the haemolymph of developing bees, damaging the insects and transmitting viruses. If left untreated an infestation can destroy a hive. So I can sympathize with the opposing view.
Still. Look at those stumpy little legs and tell me there’s nothing at all adorable about Varroa.
Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 7D
ISO 100, F/13, 1/250 sec, diffused twin flash
mites photographed on drone pupae removed from bee colony