These parasites are Halarachne halichoeri also known as nasal mites. They are found inside the nares (or nostrils) of seals. They impact the respiratory system and reside inside the nasopharynx. The adults remain stationary inside the nares of the host while the larvae are transmitted to other seals through coughing and close proximity.
Reckendorf, A., Wohlsein, P., Lakemeyer, J., Stokholm, I., von Vietinghoff, V., & Lehnert, K. (2019). There and back again–The return of the nasal mite Halarachne halichoeri to seals in German waters. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, 9, 112-118.
Allman (1847). A new genus and species of Tracheary Arachnidans. The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Vol XX, 47-53.
Posted by Nicole H.
Nicole is a spring 2020 intern at the National Marine Life Center.