I’m sure most of you know that Cute Overload has cornered the market on internet cute with their rules of cuteness. Unfortunately, though, their rules tend to skew a bit….mammal. “Show your paw pads.” “Floppy ears are cute.” Those rules don’t work so well for Arthropods. And many arthropods are quite cute.
I think this little mite is adorable. It’s rolly-polly, and has wee stumpy legs and fuzzy hair. CUTE!
It is also, sadly, Varroa destructor. The white surface it’s standing on? A pupal honeybee. These mites are itty bitty little bee vampires; they suck the blood of honey bees. And they cause quite a bit of damage to the honey bee industry.
A 1.5 mm long vampire mite is still cute though, right?
What are the arthropod rules of cuteness? Does context matter? Can something still be cute even if it is very destructive?