Studies of Behavior of Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Acarina: Macrochelidae) with Emphasis on its Attraction to the House Fly

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This study was conducted to elucidate some of the behavioral patterns of Macrocheles muscaedomesticae (Scopoli), a predator of the house fly, Musca domestica L. Scanning electron micrographs of the tips of tarsi I show at least 8 sensory-rod type of setae that are apparently involved in odor perception. It appears that a water-soluble chemical or chemicals on the body surface of male and female house flies may incite the mite to attach. In addition to being phoretic on the house fly, the mite is capable of doing bodily harm, apparently by biting through the intersegmental membranes of the adult fly. Phoresy is influenced by such factors as temperature, developmental stages of the mites, chemical stimuli, and density of mites and flies. Given a choice, mites preferred the odor of the adult house fly over fly eggs. The mites were also quite sensitive to the odor of ammonia and skatole and responded positively to low concentrations of these compounds.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 15, 1970

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  • Annals of the Entomological Society of America is published in January, March, May, July, September, and November. Annals especially invites submission of manuscripts that integrate different areas of insect biology, and address issues that are likely to be of broad relevance to entomologists. Articles also report on basic aspects of the biology of arthropods, divided into categories by subject matter: systematics; ecology and population biology; arthropod biology; arthropods in relation to plant diseases; conservation biology and biodiversity; physiology, biochemistry, and toxicology; morphology, histology, and fine structure; genetics; and behavior.
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