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Do parasitic flies attack mites? Evidence in Baltic amber

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We provide the first evidence of a small-headed fly planidium (first instar larva; Diptera: Acroceridae) associated with a whirligig mite (Acari: Acariformes: Prostigmata: Anystina: Anystidae) in Baltic amber. This fossil is surprising as parasitic nematodes are the only metazoans known to successfully attack acariform mites, and Acroceridae are believed to be host-restricted parasitoids of spiders. The fossil corroborates a previously published, but widely dismissed, paper that first reported parasitism of parasitengone mites by acrocerid planidia. The possible natural history implications of this find are discussed. © 2008 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 93, 9–13.
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Keywords: Acari; Acroceridae; Anystina; Diptera; life history; parasitism; planidium; predator–prey

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: California Department of Food & Agriculture, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, 3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832–1448, USA 2: Entomology Collection, Queensland Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries, Brisbane, Qld, Australia

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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