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Hooded tickspiders

Hooded tickspiders, from the order Ricinulei, are rarely seen organisms that live on the dry leaves that fall on the forest floor of tropical rainforests. Little is known about the ecology and natural history of these arachnids, which are small in relation to other groups. Ricinuleids have no eyes and prey upon small arthropods. In evolutionary terms, they are closely related to mites and ticks, even though they are not parasites. Unlike mites, they have divided bodies and slender pedipalps that project downwards and have a sensory and motor function, with tiny pincers at the end.

Hooded tickspiders • Photo Thiago G. Carvalho