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Experimental & Applied Acarology

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 259–273 | Cite as

Food and water resources used by the Madagascan hissing-cockroach mite, Gromphadorholaelaps schaeferi

  • J. A. Yoder
  • J. C. BarcelonaJr.
Article

Abstract

We determined the food source and water balance properties of the hissing-cockroach mite, Gromphadorholaelaps schaeferi. The food source for mites was identified using Evans blue dye by direct injection into a fasting host cockroach, Gromphadorhina portentosa, or by incorporation into cockroach food. No coloration was observed in mites on dye-injected cockroaches, but coloration was present in mites when only the food for the cockroaches had been stained. Thus, the mites are scavengers of cockroach food, and are not parasitic as previously thought. Our results demonstrate that the mites can absorb water from the air anywhere between 0.84 and 0.93 a v (%RH/100), and wax-block experiments revealed that the mouth is the site of uptake. The mites are normally clumped together on the host, typically in between the cockroach's legs and around the spiracles. Water loss rates for mites in groups (0.16% h-1) were far lower than for isolated mites (0.30% h-1), suggesting a ‘group effect’ with regard to water balance. Above the transition temperature of 30°C rate of water loss was rapid. The sites occupied by mites on the cockroach's body seem to be highly specific for feeding and absorption of water vapour.

Key words

Food source water resources cockroach 

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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Yoder
    • 1
  • J. C. BarcelonaJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryLouisiana CollegePinevilleUSA
  2. 2.Independent Study Program in BiologyLouisiana CollegePinevilleUSA

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