Lazy hitchhikers? Preliminary evidence for within-habitat phoresy in pygmephoroid mites (Acari, Scutacaridae)

Julia Baumann, Francisco Ferragut, Sanja Simic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Mites of the family Scutacaridae have been found in termite nests and also phoretic on termites. In contrast to what has been reported until now for scutacarid mites, the respective species did not possess claws on leg I for attachment on their host, but clasped to the termites’ coxae probably by using their large, pad-like empodia on legs II and III. This mode of attachment is a totally new and unique discovery for Scutacaridae. The fact that the mites were present on non-winged termites, which are no suitable dispersal units, points to a yet undiscussed function of phoresy: apart from serving as long-distance transport between habitats, it may also be an energy-saving way of movement within a habitat (in this example, the termite nest).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-99
JournalSoil Organisms
Volume90
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)

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