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Site Selection by Larval Water Mites Parasitic on the Damselfly Cercion Hieroglyphicum Brauer

Rodger Mitchell
Ecology
Vol. 49, No. 1 (Jan., 1968), pp. 40-47
Published by: Wiley
DOI: 10.2307/1933559
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1933559
Page Count: 8
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Site Selection by Larval Water Mites Parasitic on the Damselfly Cercion Hieroglyphicum Brauer
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Abstract

Two species of Arrenurus commonly parasitize a population of the damselfly Cercion hieroglyphicum. The incidence of the thoracic parasite, A. mitoensis Imamura and Mitchell, is low. Mite larvae preferentially clump together on the host mesothorax and at peaks of mite abundance may kill hosts. The abdominal parasite, A. agrionicolus Uchida, is abundant and locates 98% of the hosts. Larvae attach to the venter of the abdomen; the first mite usually attaches 0.50 mm anterior to the tip of segment 7 and subsequent attachments are anterior to this point with the mites usually keeping 0.10 mm apart. Responses to crowding cause mites to move to new sites, which tends to produce equal numbers on the two sides of the host abdomen, as well as forcing mites to more anterior attachment sites. These two parasites show the contrasting adaptations of a clumped parasite versus those of a more uniformly distributed parasite that is usually abundant enough to show intraspecfic competition for host resources.

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