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Allocation of reproductive effort in female Arrenurus spp. water mites (Acari: Hydrachnidia; Arrenuridae)


Twenty-seven species of water mites of the genus Arrenurus were compared with respect to allocation of reproductive effort. Clutch volume was positively correlated to female volume, female volume was positively correlated with clutch size and with larval volume, while clutch size and larval volume were negatively correlated. In threespace, corresponding to female volume, clutch size and larval volume, species were arranged along two trajectories representing separate reproductive strategies. The strategy characterized by small larvae, large clutches and large females corresponded to species of the subgenus Arrenurus, known to be larval parasites of adult Odonata. Members of three subgenera, known to be larval parasites of adult Diptera, followed the second strategy of small clutch size and alrge larvae. Of nine species of mites tested for intraspecific relationships, only one significant relationship was found, between female volume and clutch size for A. (Megaluracarus) bartonensis.

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Correspondence to Bruce P. Smith.

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Cook, W.J., Smith, B.P. & Brooks, R.J. Allocation of reproductive effort in female Arrenurus spp. water mites (Acari: Hydrachnidia; Arrenuridae). Oecologia 79, 184–188 (1989).

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Key words

  • Reproductive strategies
  • Hydrachnidia
  • Arrenurus
  • Parasitism