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Journal Article

An Unusual New Species of Sperchon (Acari: Sperchontidae) from Texas, with Notes on Its Biology

Jack R. Davis and David R. Cook
Transactions of the American Microscopical Society
Vol. 104, No. 2 (Apr., 1985), pp. 113-121
Published by: Wiley on behalf of American Microscopical Society
DOI: 10.2307/3226417
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3226417
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Unusual New Species of Sperchon (Acari: Sperchontidae) from Texas, with Notes on Its Biology
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Abstract

All stages (eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults) of an unusual new species of Sperchon collected in lower Devil's River, Texas, are described herein. Sperchon (Mixosperchon) texana n. sp. exhibits a condition atypical of the Sperchontidae in that the greatly reduced genital flaps do not cover the acetabula. In addition, the genital acetabula are fused on each side, and the genital flaps are lightly fused laterally with the acetabula, a condition somewhat analogous to that found in the Limnesiidae. Although S. texana is only a highly modified Mixosperchon, and almost certainly an evolutionary endpoint, its structure does suggest one of the methods by which the morphological gap between the Lebertioidea and the primitive Hygrobatoidea could be bridged. Sperchon texana is rheophilic and inhabits travertine indentations on cobblestones and boulders in close association with immature Simulium, for which the parasitic latvae are highly specific. Most of the life cycle is spent in the immature stages, with peak oviposition occurring in early winter and nymph-to-adult metamorphosis occurring in late summer. Adults become sexually mature within three months, reproduce, and die after a brief adult life.

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