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Laboratory studies of predation by the Antarctic mite Gamasellus racovitzai (Acarina: Mesostigmata)

Usher, M.B.; Bowring, M.F.B.. 1984 Laboratory studies of predation by the Antarctic mite Gamasellus racovitzai (Acarina: Mesostigmata). Oecologia, 62 (2). 245-249. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00379021

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Abstract/Summary

Laboratory investigations of predation by Gamasellus racovitzai (Acarina: Mesostigmata) on Cryptopygus antarcticus (Insecta: Collembola) are described. The predator appeared to search at random, but, when contact with prey had been made, a rapid attack involved looping the forelegs over the prey to hold it whilst the chelicerae moved forward horizontally to puncture the side of the prey. The mean predation rate by deutonymphs, approximately one prey per predator per 12 days, was independent of prey density, but with adults this rate increased to about one prey per predator per 3 days. A study of leg geometry predicted a maximum prey size that could be captured: some experimental evidence suggested that mites selected prey near to this predicted size. The contribution of the laboratory results towards understanding the dynamics of field populations is discussed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00379021
ISSN: 0029-8549
Additional Keywords: experimental evidence, laboratory study, predation rate
Date made live: 18 Jun 2019 07:57 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/523783

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