Semiochemicals mediating host-finding behaviour in the phoretic association between Macrocheles saceri (Acari: Mesostigmata) and Scarabaeus species (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae)
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Phoresy is an interspecific association where mobile organisms ensure small and/or wingless organisms to colonize patchy distributed environment. Macrocheles saceri (Acari: Mesostigmata) is a phoretic mite which specialized on Scarabaeus dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Variation for phoretic load and sites for mite fixation on beetle body has been tested according to Scarabaeus species. The number of setae on beetle body cannot explain the observed patterns in mite fixation. Evidence was provided that the semiochemicals of the host cuticle play a kairomonal role in the host finding behaviour of phoretic mites. In addition semiochemicals ensure host discrimination.
Keywords.Phoresy host-finding behaviour semiochemicals mite dung beetle
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