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Ecological Studies on Oribatid Mites with Particular Reference to Their Role as Intermediate Hosts of Anoplocephalid Cestodes1

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Results are given of a preliminary survey of the Oribatei of a sheep pasture and a cow pasture at the University of Kentucky Experiment Station Farm with particular reference to the distribution of two known intermediate hosts of the sheep tapeworm, Moniezia expansa, namely, Galumna virginiensis Jacot and Scheloribates laevigatus (Koch). Samples of vegetation, litter and mineral soil were taken at 7 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. from both pastures over a period of 2 months during the summer of 1960.

The two pasture communities showed differences in structure. G. virginiensis and S. laevigatus were the dominant species in sheep pasture; Phenopelops n.sp. was the dominant form in cow pasture. Vertical distribution of oribatid mites showed a similar pattern in both pastures in that the greatest accumulation occurred in the surface litter with a smaller, but substantial, percentage in the pasture vegetation. G. virginiensis was the most common species in sheep pasture vegetation, representing 40% to 55% of the total number of Oribatei throughout the day. There is no evidence to indicate that numbers of this species decreased markedly in the vegetation during the day. S. laevigatus was commonly found in sheep pasture vegetation during the early morning but lower numbers were recovered later in the day.

A possible measure previously suggested by a Polish worker to control the incidence or M. expansa in sheep, by restricting grazing periods to times of the day when potential oribatid hosts arc in low densities in vegetation, is not applicable to the present situation because G. virginiensis remains at a relatively high density in sheep pasture vegetation throughout the day.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1961

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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