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Alteration of Host Stage Distribution by Parasitic Water Mites of the Species Hydrachna virella (Acari: Hydrachnidae)
Carmine A. Lanciani
The Journal of Parasitology
Vol. 82, No. 4 (Aug., 1996), pp. 531-533
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3283776
Page Count: 3
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The effect of a parasitic water mite, Hydrachna virella, on the stage distribution (the proportion of the host population represented by a stage) of its aquatic insect host, Buenoa scimitra, was studied using a stage-based matrix model. Despite killing members of several stages, the mite increased the stage-distribution values of those stages. This effect seems to result from a lag in the rate of development of parasitized hosts; parasitized hosts remain in a stage longer. Consequently, a stage with parasitized individuals would represent a larger proportion of the host population than would the same stage with only unparasitized individuals. Parasites that delay host development can bias field estimates of prevalence or proportion of a host population (or stage) parasitized.
The Journal of Parasitology © 1996 The American Society of Parasitologists